Wow. This was a wonderful read, and I'm so glad I bookmarked it ages ago and stumbled upon it this morning. Good timing, as I was planning to read something of yours today and leave a review for your birthday. :) I'm of a rare breed that does enjoy reading trio fanfic, and this really hit the spot. Your Harry was right on--I think his rage could really overwhelm him at times, and even permanently in a situation as bleak as this. Nice characterization of everyone involved. The inclusion of Moody was unexpected, but a very nice addition. I had a lump in my throat through much of this, knowing how it was to end for Harry. Powerful imagery with the hands, too. Really, really well done, though I expected nothing less from such a talented writer. Oh, and Happy Birthday.
I loved this fic. It was a really interesting situation you put the reader in, because throughout the fic I wanted to stand up for Harry but I couldn't. Definitely a good way of exploring how just our law system actually is. (Random comment - have you ever seen/watched/read "The Crucible"? Because this really made me think of it.)
Harry was characterised really well, especially his outbursts of anger at Bagshot. I liked how at the beginning, even though Bagshot was always against him, Harry didn't seem to really believe he'd be convicted - that's very IC because his sense of justice is so high that he finds it hard to understand unjust people sometimes.
I wondered a little about Bagshot - I would have liked to have seen more of his character, eg. why did he hate Harry so much and how did he get into that position of power if he had no sense of justice?
You also raise an interesting question here - is it okay to sink to the level of a criminal if it's for a good cause? After all, it happens all the time (eg in crime fiction, where detectives usually break their own rules but all for the best). In this story, obviously we're on Harry's side because of the way you've focalised him, but it still asks the question.
So a very interesting story, written really well, that has made me think.
i hate bagshot =.=" and i agree, he sounds like umbridge, and i hate umbridge too. much more than voldemort, as a matter of fact.
i didn't think that harry would be capable of the cruciatus curse (bellatrix comes to mind: "you've got to mean it baby potter!") but i think the other two were very logical. i think you wrote this out very well, especially the part "I did this to save them!" Life is ridiculously cruel sometimes sighs.
Nice story nonetheless. Keep writing =)
good story, chould actually see the court system doing that to someone even if it was for the greater good.
Author's Response: Thanks, yeah that was what i was going for - the idea that sometimes the system is blind to context.
Wow! What a great story! You wrote it perfectly. It seems to me that you really understand the way Harry thinks (and the way Jo writes). I absolutely love one of the last paragraphs, the way Harry counted the hands, his disbelief that they were treating hm this way after he had saved them.
"A stern-looking, elderly witch in the front row slowly raised her hand. Not after he had saved them all from Voldemort. 2 … A middle-aged, balding man behind her raised his hand too.
He had done it to free them.".
That last line there, "He had done it to free them", really hit it right for me. I think i'll remember that for quite a while. i also love the
"Thirty lines; thirty days (thirty hands – the thought flew through his mind unbidden)".
Well I really loved this story, it was writen really well, you really grasp Joanne's personalities, how she writes her characters. Really well done! -tiana
Author's Response: Thanks for such a lovely review. I'm glad you liked Harry's characterisation. I'm glad too that that last line worked for you because it really draws out the irony that I wanted to highlight.
looking past the fact that he wouldn't cast those spells, or give him "lee-way" like you said, i really enjoyed this angsty tale. a tad bit depressing, but what else would you expect from a angsty fic? the writing was spot on, and you seemed to nail your characters down as well. if this actually happened to harry, i think he would act pretty much as you had written him, and i would say the same thing for hermione too. all in all, a solid piece of fanfic!
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it and thought the characterisation worked.
Holy freaking Prongs, I’m starting to warm up to a bit of AU. This really hit the spot. :D
I would first like to preface by saying that before I read DH, what I thought would happen was much more like this. The wizarding world had been turned upside-down, and they were looking for someone to blame. They were hurt, scared, and directionless, and they needed that scapegoat.
It’s funny how, when they all need someone like that, it always ends up being Harry. When the Chamber was opened and the students were speculating about who opened it, one of the first on the list was Harry. After GoF, when Voldy Shorts returned, no one believed either him or Dumbledore, insisting that he just wanted his name in print and was fishing for attention.
It is all of this that really makes me a believer in how you crafted this story. If I know anything about people, it is that they are, however unintentionally, ungrateful wretches when they’re scared and confused.
Your characterisation of Harry, to me, was superb. He seemed very spot on, from the way he defended himself to his barbs toward Bagshot. This part in particular was very good for me:“You are charging me with killing Voldemort?” he demanded, incredulous, as the crowd gasped. Harry scowled. “HE’S DEAD – his name won’t hurt you!” He shouted at them. Turning back to Bagshot, he continued his interrupted tirade. “Would you rather I’d left him alone? Maybe you didn’t want to see him fall?”
To me, that’s just so very Harry. He’s always been a proponent that Voldemort’s name is just a name. It was made to inspire fear, but Harry knew that there was no fear in a name. Small details like this are what separate this fic to me. I know we’ve already chatted about writing styles and so forth, but yours is very well-suited to characterisation such as what is in this story, and the way Harry’s voice comes through is very telling of that.
The person that is Edmund Bagshot is quite vile. He smacks of someone who carries his own agenda while charged with carrying out the will of the people. He is the ultimate corrupt politician. At times, he is almost too corrupt, and he starts to sound like Umbridge. That does work against him in terms of characterisation and believability in this story. It’s not that he sounds like her or talks like her; it just seems that, at times, they’re nearly the same person. I’m not going to say that it changes how I feel about this story and its strengths, but it does jump out at me as Dolores Redux.
I love how you incorporated Mad-Eye into the story. He randomly interjected his opinion out loud, just as he did in Dumbledore’s memory of Barty Junior’s trial, and it just seemed so very, very Moody to me. I think that Mad-Eye had always had Harry pegged as an Auror, when the ridiculous number of incidents in which he was involved is considered. That may be me imprinting my personal impressions of a character in someone else’s work, but it’s always rewarding when I can have my own picture of what someone should be like and it’s fulfilled by another author. Moody is a hard character to get right, because he always ends up sounding like an overly-paranoid wingnut with more conspiracy theories than actual thoughts. Here, you have him as gruff and opinionated, and that, to me, suits him well.
I would like to bring up something that could be considered as a bit of a plot hole. While it’s true that Harry knew the prophesy, he knew it because Dumbledore showed him the memory in the Pensieve. Where is this memory to be found? If you had some bit about the Pensieve and Dumbledore’s cache of recollections being destroyed somehow, then that would patch it right up. But, as is, the first thing that popped into my mind is, “Well, what about the memory?” Even though, as was obvious in Slughorn’s memory of Tom Riddle, memories can be altered, it would at least cast a shadow of a doubt as to Harry’s true guilt in the matter. I do think that, with knowledge of the prophesy, the Wizengamot might not have been so quickly inclined to damn Harry, who did save them all with those supposedly unforgivable actions.
The end of the court scene is brilliant. The wave of hands started with one person. Had that one person not raised her hand, maybe none of them would have. Not many people would have the [insert rude terminology for body part] to condemn the man (yes, Bagshot, he’s a man, not a boy!) who killed the most evil wizard in history, but all it took was one person who wasn’t so impressed.
The counting was fantastic. I could easily see Harry remembering every hand and every corresponding face. Each one of those hands meant that he was that much closer to Azkaban. The way you formatted it, with Harry’s thoughts interlaced in the count, was brilliant. It showed how he was realising more and more that he was going to go to prison and how that affected him at the time. It was a wonderful way to show both how it affected Harry and how his conviction was carried out. It is very classic dark/angst, and it’s one of the reasons why I love this category so much. It takes something horrible and highlights the vividness of that horror.
The end, where you revisited the same part as the beginning, was also very well done. Some may think that it is OOC for Harry to injure himself to mark the passing of his days on the wall of his cell, but I disagree. He did cast the Killing Curse, which rips one’s soul. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all that someone with a torn soul—in prison, even after saving the world—would mark his sentence in such a fashion. It would be more OOC if he didn’t do something of the sort. Plus, the number thirty holds a new significance to him now, so it would not be a stretch if this flashback hit him right before he put that thirty-first notch up, almost commemorating the hideousness of it all.
All in all, I think this story really does well in outlining the disparity between law and justice. The law doesn’t always serve justice; it just does the best it can under the circumstances. There are times when it fails epically, but it is in that failure that newer, better laws are formed. I have no doubt that, later on, when the Wizengamot had time to ponder what they had just done to their saviour, their actions toward ‘offenders’ from the war effort would be changed greatly.
I’m glad you posted this story, because it was a lovely read. It just makes me remember why D/A is one of my very favourite categories. It takes something dark and makes me think about it. We don’t always think about those dark places in our minds and hearts, but in a good angst story, we’re sent into places we don’t often tread, even within ourselves. Wonderful work!
Take care and happy writing!
Author's Response: Wow, thanks for such an amazing indepth review, Jess. I'm so glad you got the point of this story so that it was believable. People so often seem to have trouble accepting this story because they don't think Harry could ever cast the Unforgivables (and I can see their point), but that was never the point of the story whether he could or not. The point was in the Wizarding world's reaction to what he'd done and the effect that had on him, and that was what I wanted to make believable, so I'm really glad you thought it was. Good spot on the plot hole with the Pensieve - I'd never even thought of that. I'll have to tweak it one day, when I find a moment, to have Dumbledore's memories destroyed somehow. It's interesting that you found a similarity with Bagshot and Umbridge because I didn't have her in mind when I wrote him at all - I was actually aiming more towards Barty Crouch Sr (I didn't necessarily intend for him to be evil, just cynical misguidedly overzealous), perhaps I need to rein him in a little. I sort of saw the wave of hands as an inverse 'I am Spartacus' moment, and it seemed like it would be something that would really haunt Harry, so I'm glad it worked. I love that you picked up on the disparity between law and justice because that was utterly the point of this. In some ways, because of that this probably is one of the darkest things I've written at least in terms of being the most dystopic. Thanks so much again, dear.