Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 04/10/11 5:28
Chapter: Index

And thus it ends...

I have to say, I wondered how you would be able to tie this amazing set of stories together and od them all justice... and you certainly didn't disappoint. I think there's a nice pattern to it that the first story was about Madam Pomfrey and the last about Madam Pince. I think the amazing thing about this is that you really stuck to her character in canon (as in when she talks about the students ruining books etc.), and yet you made her... compassionate? I suppose that's the right word.

You ask some interesting questions in this... like Is one tragedy less than another simply because there are fewer corpses? Or is it greater because several of the victims were teenagers? I suppose there's not really an answer to it. You're just highlighting how there is so little need for death, how pointless it is.

With quill in hand, I recorded the night’s events. Nothing? A waste of time? I do not think so. I am no Healer, no Auror and no warrior. I did what I could, what I do best. I really loved this line, and I think it really shows how death affects everyone around it. So even though Irma wasn't in danger herself, she still had to cope with the death surrounding her and try and deal with it. And she did all she could to help.

The idea of destroying books is repugnant. It goes against everything I have been taught, everything I believe. Books lift the brume of ignorance. But perhaps the loss forever of these books would be condign, an appropriate threnody for the fallen.
'Not at all,' I tell her.
Somehow that is just the perfect ending for this whole story... I guess there's something about burning those books which suggests cleansing or healing, allowing for rebirth... kind of like a phoenix.

Anyway, I'm so glad I decided to read Tales of the Battle, it's been a fantastic read.

~Katrina

Author's Response:
Katrina

I wasn’t certain how I was going to finish this myself (for a while Paperwork was going to be the final chapter). Eventually, I decided to reread the stories. I got no further than “The Calm Before”. The second I read it, I knew it had to be Madam Pince, and this story flowed very quickly from that decision.

Possibly it’s because I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett, but I believe that being the Librarian in a magical library is a potentially dangerous job. I’ve tried to show Madam Pince as very well-read and rather detached.

Thanks for all of your reviews. Every one of them interesting and thought provoking.
Neil

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 04/10/11 5:28
Chapter: Index

And thus it ends...

I have to say, I wondered how you would be able to tie this amazing set of stories together and od them all justice... and you certainly didn't disappoint. I think there's a nice pattern to it that the first story was about Madam Pomfrey and the last about Madam Pince. I think the amazing thing about this is that you really stuck to her character in canon (as in when she talks about the students ruining books etc.), and yet you made her... compassionate? I suppose that's the right word.

You ask some interesting questions in this... like Is one tragedy less than another simply because there are fewer corpses? Or is it greater because several of the victims were teenagers? I suppose there's not really an answer to it. You're just highlighting how there is so little need for death, how pointless it is.

With quill in hand, I recorded the night’s events. Nothing? A waste of time? I do not think so. I am no Healer, no Auror and no warrior. I did what I could, what I do best. I really loved this line, and I think it really shows how death affects everyone around it. So even though Irma wasn't in danger herself, she still had to cope with the death surrounding her and try and deal with it. And she did all she could to help.

The idea of destroying books is repugnant. It goes against everything I have been taught, everything I believe. Books lift the brume of ignorance. But perhaps the loss forever of these books would be condign, an appropriate threnody for the fallen.
'Not at all,' I tell her.
Somehow that is just the perfect ending for this whole story... I guess there's something about burning those books which suggests cleansing or healing, allowing for rebirth... kind of like a phoenix.

Anyway, I'm so glad I decided to read Tales of the Battle, it's been a fantastic read.

~Katrina

Author's Response: So good you reviewed it twice? ;-D -N-

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 04/10/11 5:16
Chapter: Paperwork

Hello again,

Broken Flint: Very interesting. I'm really glad you wrote a story which shows what the 'bad guys' did after the battle. I think your characterisation of Millicent is very interesting... and it certainly fit her to carve Marcus' initials into her skin... and yet, despite her seeming to be 'bad', it was obvious that she cared about Marcus, which somehow seems to redeem her a bit, at least in my perspective.

Ouroboros: What a perfectly manipulative Narcissa. That was so realistic - at one point you wrote something about how Lucius adopted a bored/aloof look that he wore so well or something, it really shows how the only thing the Malfoys seem to be good at is acting. You've made them seem so interesting in this, I'd love to see your take on how they're holding up a few years down the track. Particularly Draco.

Paperwork: It's funny how sometimes seeing the pain and loss in the world can lead us to rediscover what's important... This story was one of my favourites from the series. Finding the killer didn’t stop her victims from being dead. That's just so true. I imagine it would be extremely difficult to be 'professionally detached' when you're dealing with dead people, who, as you point out, are all someone's daughter or son, or friend, or brother or sister.

Anyway, I'm rather curious to see how you'll tie everything up in the last story... I suspect you'll hear from me again soon. Sofar everything has been well-written, well-characterised, poignant, true to canon... fantastic.

~Katrina

Author's Response:
Katrina

Broken Flint was my chance to create a few minor villains (apart from Goyle, the others are little more than names). Bigoted Mudblood-hating racists can love people (just not Mudbloods). This chapter gave me four villains (including Colin’s killer) for Harry and co. to chase in other stories. I don’t believe that Millicent is as stupid as many people think, she simply knows when to get physical.

I hate stories featuring nice, redeemed, and contrite Malfoys. They are great villains, and stories need great villains. Draco was never witty, simply cruel and Narcissa needs to keep him quiet. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny should never be certain whether the Malfoys have changed, or are merely pretending they have changed. It worked for the Malfoy’s after the first war.

Paperwork underwent several rewrites (the final version had a “happy” ending because the original was simply too bleak). Whether Auror Al (don’t call him Spider) Webb reappears in my other stories is something I haven’t decided.
Neil

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 04/10/11 1:43
Chapter: Snakeslayer

Neville is one of my favourite characters, so I just had to leave a review after this story, too... (I think it's my fifth review on Tales of the Battle).

You really are incredible at taking what JKR gives us in canon and recreating her characters with your own additions. Neville was just perfect in this. I liked the comparisons you drew between him and Harry, because really I see them as very similar. Neither thinks they're particularly brave, but when it comes down to it, they find something inside themselves. I suppose in a way it is because both of them have lead such a damaged childhood and are fighting the people who caused them to lose their parents.

I liked the constant reminder of "Kill the snake", particularly as it tied in with the title. It shows that Neville has a focus, despite the chaos surrounding him during the battle.

I loved the ending... in so few words you managed to convey such an important idea. Particularly the line "I have no idea how Harry copes with this". I guess this is another way in which Neville is similar to Harry and has to go through many of the same things, even though he goes through them later than Harry.

I think it's interesting that Neville kills a Horcrux... I think there's a link between the people who killed the Horcruxes - Harry, Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione, Neville... and then there's Crabbe, who doesn't seem to quite fit, but I suppose it's fitting that someone from Voldemort's side actually killed a Horcrux. Anyway, I think that just highlights the connection between Neville and Harry, which we of course see in OotP as well. And I'm really rambling here...

Absolutely loved your characterisation of Neville!

~Katrina

(Oh and by the way referring to your last response - I doubt anyone will notice that you made a canon error with Macnair... it's hardly an important part of the Battle...)

Author's Response:
Katrina

Neville, it seems to me, is one of JKR’s finest creations. He, like Ginny and Luna, is always there in the background. In the early books she uses him as comic relief, although even then he’s prepared to stand up for himself, sometimes foolishly (I seem to remember him taking on Crabbe and Goyle in a fist fight). Like Ron, when his second-hand wand is broken and he gets a new one, he becomes more adept magically. Neville is probably one of the bravest of the Gryffindors, recklessly so sometimes. Towards the end of the Battle, it’s possible to sum up his contribution very easily. Harry gave him a job, kill the snake, he did it. I’m certain that, like Harry, Neville will have no idea how to cope with suddenly being famous.

Thanks

Neil

ps Macnair bothers me, but not enough to delete this chapter, as I like my version of events, and it isn’t exactly a major change.

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 04/10/11 0:31
Chapter: Son of the Air

Hello again,

Here comes my next review of this fic.

Worn Out Boot: This was a great fic of self-discovery for Terry, I thought. You made him such a likeable character, and I loved how he became sure of himself and decided to become an Auror at the end. Luna seems to appear in a number of your stories, and you always write her so well. It's typical of her to know/believe that Voldemort's lying about Harry, and that her optimism is catching to Terry.

Falling Angel: Wonderful characterisation again. It definitely throws a new light on Fred... I liked how you distinguished between the two twins in this and made them different people. I also liked Angelina's realisation about Tony. The ending was sad... I guess that's always the thing when someone dies, you see all the lost opportunities rather than the opportunities you took.

Parents: I think Lavender's parents were very typical here, particularly in how they blamed Harry. After all, when bad things happen people always want to blame someone else. And, although they came across as cowardly, I suppose parents always worry about their children. I think this was a very realistic story.

Son of the Air: Wow, this one really impressed me. I love fics in second person, but the idea to use Buckbeak as a focalising character is just fantastic. The detached way of telling the story and the way the scene is described really shows how pointless killing is and really shows up humanity. Definitely one of your more poignant stories from this series. I loved the ending, too. There's something great about Buckbeak getting revenge...

I'm looking forward to the last 5 chapters!!

~Katrina

Author's Response:
Katarina

JKR says that Kingsley recruits Harry, Ron and Neville to the Auror Office. I wanted to add a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw DA member. The Hufflepuff was easy (I couldn’t imagine Ernie or Justin and I definitely didn’t want Hannah). I considered Padma as the Ravenclaw, but I finally decided on Terry, who is no more than a name in canon. Terry appeared in Luna’s chapter, so I returned the favour (and I liked them so much I considered making them a couple.

Both Angelina/George and Angelina/Fred are canon. That seemed very weird to me, so I wanted to explore it. Really her relationship with Fred was short, It was there in GoF, but not in OotP. This is my explanation, and a reason why in my stories it will be a few years before they finally get together.

I loved writing Parents. Don and Carmine are in a very difficult position. He could lose everything whatever he does, so doing nothing seems to be the best option. It is cowardice, but it’s also an attempt to protect the family.

I’m a strictly canon writer, I reread the Battle chapters dozens of times and wrote copious notes. I missed something. This chapter isn’t canon :( Hagrid fights Macnair in the great hall just before the face-off with Voldemort. But I liked writing this little experiment in second person, though it wasn’t easy, so it’s staying unchanged as my only AU story.

Neil

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 04/09/11 23:50
Chapter: Cornered

Hi Neil,

So here's a long overdue review for this fic.

Seamus Awake: I really enjoyed seeing Seamus' perspective on his relationship with Lavender... and I sort of felt a bit bad for him about it, too. I liked his thoughts about Neville and your Luna was really good in this fic. I think this story was a nice reminder that Seamus belongs in Gryffindor, as obviously when the DA first forms, he's not in it and as a reader sometimes you forget that he fought in the final battle.

Bad Faith: I think your Draco was realistic... throughout the whole story, just doing anything and everything to save himself. I liked the way he kept saying "I'm on your side..." to people from both sides. Although I did sort of feel a bit sorry for him...

Die Dumb: This one has me a bit divided... I had never really imagined Goyle to be as stupid as you show him... it almost feels like he's mentally disabled somehow in this. Which I suppose is a really interesting take on the situation. I really liked the way you developed his character through this, and how he had been using Malfoy as much as Malfoy had been using him. Very interesting. But yeah, I'd never really imagined him like this.

Cornered: I think this is one of the most poignant fics of the series. That last line... I really wasn't expecting it, and it was just so heartbreaking for Michael. I think you just showed how scarred he was from that session of torture. I really don't know what else to say about this one... except that I just loved it. Fantastic writing.

Well, you'll probably hear from me again soon after I've read the next few chapters. I am really enjoying this fic, it's fantastic.

~Katrina

Author's Response:
Katarina

Seamus’ was one of the hardest stories for me to write, for some reason his character took a long time for me to find. Luna, of course, had to appear as, of course, did Ernie. JKR gave us Ernie, Luna and Seamus in the Battle, and they struck me as an odd trio.

Thanks, I know that a lot of girls like Draco, but he’s one of those who would bribe his way onto a lifeboat on the Titanic. I’m glad, however that you felt sorry for him.

I read every tiny think I could find about Goyle before I wrote Die Dumb. He has virtually no dialogue, and it seems that he was the lowest of the three. Crabbe was the one who did most of the talking. I don’t think that he’s mentally disabled, just a not very clever sadist. I think he stuck with Draco because he likes hurting people. It’s the only thing he’s good at.

I wanted to write a story about mental scarring. We know that Michael was tortured, and we know what happened to Neville’s parents. Those two facts combined to make this story arrive in my head almost fully formed.

Thanks for the reviews.

Neil

Reviewer: bekki-unknown
Date: 04/05/11 5:40
Chapter: Die Dumb

Nooooo poor Colin!

What an ending, you gave a good insight into Goyle's character, in the books he is always there but more like a prop in the background for Malfoy than a real character. Here you make him seem so cold when he easily kills poor, trusting Colin.

Can't wait to read the rest.

Author's Response: Crabbe and Goyle were little more than Malfoy’s goons. They said very little, and Goyle appeared to be the stupidest. He, like Draco, will have been brought up to believe that Mudbloods are scum. Dehumanising (dewizardising?) your enemy makes them easier to kill. They aren’t really people. That is cold, and chilling. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the tales. -N-

Reviewer: One Lily
Date: 04/04/11 12:03
Chapter: The Calm Before

hagrid would have beeen cool to see, we only saw him briefly in the book

Author's Response: True. -N-

Reviewer: Betamax
Date: 04/03/11 22:50
Chapter: Voldemort Doesn't Play Quidditch

I really liked this chapter; nicely written. If I remember correctly, you said somewhere that you were going to use the Harry Interview in a similar style story. Is that still on the books or did this one replace that? I would still love to hear the last episode of Potterwatch.

Also, I know this doesn't relate to this story but did you have any plans on writing about the reunion between Harry and the Dursleys? I just think that would be such a deliciously awkward situation that it would make a great story.

Author's Response:
Thanks for the review.

I had (have?) planned a Harry interview as the last ever Potterwatch. The general format of that story was transferred to this one. I still have my notes (and “questions from the public”) but I have no plans to write it at the moment.

The Harry/Dursleys reunion is drafted. It forms the first three chapters of a novel-length story set in 2001 and currently called “The Slytherin Four” (though I don’t like the title). Unfortunately, before I get there I must finish Aurors and Schoolgirls (1999) and its sequel, Hunters and Prey (2000). Perhaps “Friends and Foes” would be a better title.
-N-

Reviewer: One Lily
Date: 04/03/11 8:28
Chapter: The Calm Before

it was amazing! madame pince can get overlooked so easily, since she already has a reputation at hogwarts, so it was col to see her being compassionate for once!

Author's Response: Thanks -N-

Reviewer: One Lily
Date: 04/03/11 8:26
Chapter: The Calm Before

the list was probably endless! but its a bittersweet ending. It was nice to see everyones perspective, from all point of view.

Author's Response: People who I considered, but didn’t write about included: Zacharius Smith, Hagrid, Prof. McGonagall, Dean Thomas, the Patil twins and another OC, Hamish Campbell, a Scottish Law Officer.

Reviewer: SimpleMinds
Date: 04/03/11 3:16
Chapter: Index

You have really, truly encapsulated the poignancy of it all. I absolutely adore the monologue-stream of consciousness stuff. And it all fits, it's just the filling in of gaps, and you make it work. You're a wonderful writer.

Author's Response:
Thanks for the review.

I had a lot of fun with these stories. Trying twenty five different points of view was interesting, as was experimenting with styles. I think some worked better than others and some (like Die Dumb) were a struggle to write.
-N-

Reviewer: One Lily
Date: 04/02/11 22:14
Chapter: Index

I'm so sad its over! their story was our story you know? Their battle was our battle, their after story was our after story. I'm sad to see it end!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. This is only the second novel-length chaptered story I've finished, and I reached this point with a mix of relief and regret. There were so many other I could have written about. -N-

Reviewer: One Lily
Date: 04/02/11 16:20
Chapter: Index

the end paragraph made me cry! the simplicity of those words, spoken by madame pince, were just heartbreaking.

Author's Response: Thank you. Deciding who to finish with was difficult, but once I'd decided, I knew how this would go -N-

Reviewer: MaraudingMarauders
Date: 04/01/11 11:40
Chapter: Index

Excellent point of view. I would have never thought of her playing an important role during the battle...I absolutely love reading each chapter as it comes up!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I started with Madam Pomfrey, and Madam Pince, so it seemed fitting to finish with Madam Pince. -N-

Reviewer: iwishicouldwrite
Date: 04/01/11 4:42
Chapter: Index

that was a really interesting character to end the story with, and after i finished the chapter it seemed so fitting. seeing the battle from so many different angles was fascinating, and i think you've done a great job with this fanfic. can't wait to read more of your work!

Author's Response: Thanks for this (and all your other reviews). I learned a lot from writing this and it will be a useful foundation for my other stuff. More soon. -N-

Reviewer: leeshie55
Date: 04/01/11 1:08
Chapter: Index

Wow, just...wow. I know I've commented on this story three times now, but I just want you to know this has been, by far, my favourite story posted on this site.
Every chapter has been given it's own voice, it's own uniqueness (is that even a word? Oh, well, it is now), it's own brilliance. I love how you used characters others wouldn't have thought of, and you pulled it off greatly. I truly commend you for thinking of it, and sharing this work with everyone. It's been enjoyable every chapter through.
Thanks for updating regularly too. I know you have several projects "on the go" right now but I'm glad you managed to stick to your guns and get this one out.
Thank you once again for writing and sharing this, it's been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to reading more from you!

Author's Response:
Thanks for the reviews. Is it wrong that I know that 50 people have left reviews, 28 of them once?

I did not think of this, not exactly. I knew a lot of these stories. I had decided what happened to Mark and Lavender during the battle when I wrote Moon. Colin, Justin and Hannah, (and Neville) I had backstory for, too. I did nothing with the information until HPFF announced a battle challenge for their house cup. This series began as a few hastily written and very rough and ready entries for that challenge (and they are the reason I was banned from that site). The first one completed was Protheroe’s Perspective (which is really a Colin/Justin story), then Epiphany and Fall. That’s when I realised that I needed to put them in some sort of order.

I have enjoyed trying to write from the differing perspectives of twenty-five characters.

My next update may be either the fairly grim M.I.T., or the very daft Players Rites, as both are one-shots that need no more than a final read through (I hope). Then (hopefully) A&S.
-N-

Reviewer: MaizeNBlu
Date: 03/31/11 21:49
Chapter: The Calm Before

I very much enjoyed reading this unique set of stories, and the overall unique view on the battle and all of its factors leading to the final result. I have now read all of your works at one point or another. I just wanted to say a quick 'Thank You' for all of the effort you've put into your work.

You are one of the very few writers I've found online who write with such a professional feel, and do not succumb to plot blunders or grammatical errors easily. Please continue writing well into the future, and know that you will always have at least one loyal reader wherever you go. Thanks again

Author's Response:
Thanks for the compliments.

I write what I want, because I like to write and I’d probably be writing even if no one was reading, but it’s good to know that some people like my stuff.

Tales, with it’s mix of first-person, third-person, with the odd interview, correspondence and second-person chapter has allowed me to experiment in many different ways. Frankly, I’m simply glad that the whole thing hangs together without any major plot blunders (apart from chapter 20) Plot blunders happen, why do you think the next chapter of A&S is taking so long? :-(
-N-

Reviewer: TNash
Date: 03/31/11 19:20
Chapter: Index

I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy this and all your stories. I look forward to continuing to read your work and am anxiously awaiting the next chapters in Drakeshaugh and Aurors and Schoolgirls. You are an outstanding writer and as a professional editor, I appreciate the fact that you have spell-checked and proofread your work.
I especially appreciate the way that you create completely unique and original stories and yet still stay completely within the canon of the series. You are an outstanding writer and I hope you will continue. And if you ever do - or have - written non-fan-fiction original work, I would love to read that too

Author's Response:
Thanks for the review.

Spellchecking is relatively easy, but without my long-suffering beta-readers my capitalisation and comma placement would be—eccentric.

This story is not completely canon. I goofed with chapter 20. :-( Hagrid threw Macnair against the wall in the Great Hall AFTER the events of that chapter, sorry. I can’t change it, I would have to delete it, so we’ll just pretend that in the confusion of the battle Harry thought that it was Macnair, but he was mistaken.

I have no original work (yet), unless you count some stuff I wrote for an rpg supplement (but that was “game world facts”, not fiction)
-N-

Reviewer: edyeb
Date: 03/31/11 19:13
Chapter: The Calm Before

Lovely ending--though I must admit for the first few sentences, I thought for a brief moment you were going an Umbridge route so please forgive me.

Who better than our beloved (??) librarian to keep the record of the Battle straight.

Wonder if she will also share her records with Binns for his NEWT level Recent Events in British HIstory lecture.??
EdyeB

Author's Response:
Thanks for the review. You’re forgiven. :-)

I suspect that to Professor Binns, “recent events” means the defeat of Gellert Grindelwald.
-N-

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