Ah, nothing quite like a reunion of schoolmates, is there...? :-}
And to add to the shakiness of whatever ground Draco seems to think he stands on, he's learning of aspects of his bride that seem to catch him a bit off-guard (at best). I'd claim sympathy, but I'd be lying. (Smirk.)
Narcissa seems to regard Harry with a level of antipathy that's rather higher than I would have expected -- but then, I can't really claim empathy with her position, either.
It is rather nice that Harry was able to get Neville's help.
Author's Response: I felt this reunion was essential to set up the action in the DH Epilogue. Of course I couldn’t resist adding some of the events which happened off-screen, so to speak. As for Narcissa’s attitude, she always struck me as the type who would blame her current woes on Harry, as the catalyst of Voldemort’s downfall, rather than on her and her husband’s decision to back the darkest horse (with no intended slight to thestrals, that is). Glad you enjoyed.
A very interesting chapter. Sybill was always a little known character, but had a major impact on Harry and the Magical world. I wonder if Minerva will ever tell her that it was she who reported the Prophecy. Somehow I think she shouldn't know. This was a spot on description. I am glad that her talents led her to really see Severus as he really was.
Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed my take on Sybill. I always felt that there was more beneath that flaky, bohemian exterior than what we got to see as the trio never really warmed up to her. Of course, she’s just as clueless of how the outside world perceives her as she is of her true talents. Keeping her in the dark about her own involvement in the prophecy which led to Voldemort’s rampage is just one more way in which Dumbledore protected her from accidentally saying the wrong thing to the wrong person; it seems that he would’ve shared these thoughts with Minerva as well.
Seeing things from Trelawney's perspective is certainly ... different. Possibly a bit disorienting, as well. :-}
In her reflections on Remus, we see an excellent illustration of the primary distinction between "sympathy" and "empathy."
I suppose it's not unexpected that Trelawney has an affinity for lighthouses.
Her conversation with Ms Figg is fairly entertaining -- particularly the exploits of "Madame Voula."
It is rather amusing that no one will tell her that she's the one who made the prophecy. :-}
I rather like your portrayal of Minerva McGonagall.
Snape at the dance is an interesting (and amusing) scene.
Her observations on Snape's aura make sense, I think.
And yes, building the foundation for a true peace is indeed "the true challenge."
Author's Response: Seeing Sybill through Harry’s eyes means that we only see her as a charlatan, rather like Gilderoy Lockhart minus the ego. But she doesn’t see herself that way. And in light of the two “real” prophecies which she’s uttered (not to mention her Tarot reading of the lightning struck tower in the days before Dumbledore’s murder), she does have some modest, if unreliable, talent. As the outsider, though, her true value is that she can make such telling observations about others.
wow! I don't think I've ever read a fic that treated Sybil with so much insight and dignity. Good chapter.
Author's Response: So glad I was able to portray Sybill in a new way. I’ve always felt there was more to this character than just comic relief. Certainly, in retrospect, it’s clear that Dumbledore realizes she will be targeted by the Death Eaters and offers her a position at the school to keep her safe. Just look at how he defended her removal from school grounds after Umbridge’s performance review; he didn’t interfere in any of the toad woman’s other staff reductions. In light of what we ultimately learn of Umbridge’s true allegiances, I can’t help but think that she had ulterior motives all along. Consider that while the other Death Eaters were trying to find a way to retrieve the prophecy from the Department of Mysteries, Umbridge had a Plan B to procure the source of the prophecy instead. Perhaps she was deluded enough to hope that Sybill could provide her dark master with even more prophercies. Removing her from the protection of Hogwarts castle would’ve been the first step in torturing her for information.
This story has had its ups and downs, but they are all in a better place now.I just wish everybody in the world could have a New Year with the same to look forward to. Happy New year to all fanfiction writers and readers.
Author's Response: And a happy new year to you as well! But don't go thnkng this story is winding down. I still have some twists and turns in store to get the characters lined up for their roles in the epilogue.
Ah -- so it seems that Pygmy Puffs may be related to Tribbles, eh? :-)
I find it interesting (and possibly curious) that the journalist cited last hadn't linked the alternate perspective with Harry's date for the evening.
So Percy does add value to the community after all -- good show!
Author's Response: I hadn't thought about the Pygmy Puff - Tribble connection, but it certainly works! I was just thinking about a product that would bring the joke shop a quick proft without having to be engineered, a process which used to be handled by both twins together.
Granted, it could be that the journalist was totally clusless; the example of Rita Skeeter's story about Harry and Hermione's romance at the start of the First Task comes to mind. Knowing what we do about the Prophet needing to sell itself, however, it's also possible that her wording was intended to sitr up speculation thus guaranteeing readers would return for the continuing story. Using Harry's life to sell newspapers in nothing new.
Granted Percy's a bit of a tosser, but I don't think he was ever a convert to the dark side, either. More like he didn't want reality to derail his career, then finally growing the backbone to see that if he didn't fight back, there would be nothing left for anyone. So you could say he starts out a bit like Fudge and then realizes his error. Unlike Fudge, he won't have a career that is based on a series of lcleve fabrications and slight of hand.
Heh ... that was rather fun -- especially the interactions among the various folks. Aunt Muriel's appearances added a touch of ... "otherness," I think. (Aside from Aunt Muriel generally not approving of most anyone anyway, I doubt she'd approve of me -- so I suppose I don't need to be all that careful about wording on her account. :-})
Author's Response: Every family has an Auntie Muriel of sorts; she's really great fun to write. In this instance, everyone just laughs off her narrow-minded views; but in other instances, I can see how she could be a true thorn in the backside.
Fantastically brilliant as always!
Author's Response: Thanks! Hope you like the next part where we here from a new source.
I loved the memorial gallery. Beautiful chapter.
Author's Response: Glad you approve. I so wanted the victory celebration to have a more somber side, Otherwise, it felt too much as if they were dancing on the graves of others.
Wow!!! Great chapter. I really loved the Room of Remembrance (aka The Reliquary). You have created the most unique tribute to those who died for Freedom. I did notice that there wasn't a tribute to Harry's parents, or was that beyond where Kingsley stopped the group for the start of the Ball? I do hope at sometime in the future you will have Harry visiting that particular part, perhaps when Andromeda visits? Bravo I say, Otherwise your inventioness of each display was wonderous .Now the continuing development of Harry and Ginny's is just what I wanted. I look forward to your next.
Author's Response: I Hadn't really considered Harry's parents, seeing as they already have a memorial in Godric's Hollow. The Reliquarry tends to commemorate the heros of the Second Wizarding War. But then again, the incident with Wormtail killling all those Muggles was from the earlier conflict, so I guess you could say everything is all interconnected. Just think of the exhibits as a work in progress.
I absolutely loved this chapter. It was just what was needed. Some lighthearted friend time for Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron. I'm finally caught up. So feel free to write the next chapter. Great story.
Author's Response: Hope you enjoy the next chapter, which is actually a continuation of this one. Lots of lighthearted moments intersperced with some serious ones. I would've had it posted weeks ago had I not been buried in the Christmas avalache.
I think when they looked back at that day, they both knew it was worth facing the Heads displeasure. This was a Dumbledore that was less tolerant. Of course no one ever was in his favor as much as Harry. This was a very enlightening chapter. Thank you.
PS I know that by telling Harry (and Teddy) she brought the beauty of her and Ted's love alive again.
Author's Response: No doubt about it, a younger Dumbledore was not as smooth and polished a manipulator as we see later. Notice how he gives Andromeda and Ted the seeds to discover the Room of Requirement on their own, although they never do. Unlike Harry and Hermione who both remember Dumbledore mentioning it obliquely in offhanded moments.
I say it's about time, for Merlins sake!! The best friends are still helping each other out. It seems Harry just waited until Ginny was ready. She has had her start in Quidditch, she should be able to have a life, not orchestrated by Gwen. I must go to the next. I will say after the last two chapters, this one was very welcome.
Author's Response: Since we already know from the DH Epilogue that Harry and Ginny end up together, it was essential to have some conflict to make the tale interesting. Considering Harry's temper and Ginny's fiery nature (just like her mother, Molly), friction was inevitable. Since Harry's is the primary voice in many parts of the story, it also gave me an opportunity to balance what Ron and Hermione bring to the table..
Thank you for teaming up those who redeveloped the Deluminator. It was getting pretty deep on the other side. I still don't understand.why, but I will continue.
Author's Response: Didn't want you to think I was playing favorites with the "departed" characters which I revisited. Pettigrew, for one, is so much fun to write! Just about everyone had their cameo and those who weren't there are missing for a reason.... That's all I can say for now.
For what purpose was this? I must go on to find out. The worst and the best is to come.
Author's Response: This is the counterpoint to the railway station scene earlier, chapter title "On the Wings of a Thestral", where we learn which other characters have arrived at the heavenly way station. Not to mention that I wanted to explore how Snape would have integrated himself into his new surroundings. His dissatisfaction is a sign of unfinished business in so many areas of his life.
Lots to think about. But loads of wonderful parts. I do have a question. Why is Harry concerned about money? He should have more than enough, considering he inheirited everything from Sirius, and I think the Potters were well to do too?
Author's Response: I actually gave Harry's financial situation a lot of thought. We have Harry's estimation in PS/SS that his parents left him a mountain of gold in their, now his, Gringotts' vault, but can we really trust an eleven-year -old who has no real experience of the world? I found it noteworthy that when he gawks at the new Quidditch brooms in Diagon Alley a few years later, Harry resists the urge to empty out his bank account to have one. Conclusion: either he's very prudent with his $$ by nature, or there really isn't that much in his vault if the putchase of a broom would deplete his resources so much. When in comes to Sirius' townhouse, we all know that it's in a rather shabby state; perhaps funds were too low for Kreacher to do any upkeep while he was hanging about all those years. (He certainly had the capability as demonstrated when he took care of the trio at the start of DH.) Since Sirius, and most likely Remus, had been living in the townhouse during much of OotP, those funds would have been depleted even more. To me, Grimmauld Place gave the impression of a once glorious showpierce of a family who had since fallen on hard times.
Now take into account that Harry has recently bought a flat in the most expensive city in the world (if I'm to believe what I've read about London). He has to shop around to find something that won't "break the bank." Is it too extreme to suppose that he will restrict himself to living within his means? That way, he will still have a nest egg for the future.
P.S. So pleased that this chapter made you examine a number of things.
Oh how very cool. This was an unique view of Heaven. I am glad that Severus is part of the group now.
Author's Response: Couldn't resist catching up with the rest of "the gang." I think that's one of the things that made me write this story, i.e. I wasn't bound by the laws of nature as we know them. Therefore, so many of my favorite characters didn't totally disappear, they just relocated to a different reality.
A very interesting chapter. To counteract an Imperious curse with a potion? Outstanding. It seems like a more modern idea than most that have graced the Wizarding World in a while. I have an idea as to what Hermione is up to, but again I'll defer.
Author's Response: Love potions used to be Molly's specialty at school; I clearly remember reading that in one of the books. As her student, Harry's determined to impress her with his ingenuity. He knows that Hermione's thirst for knowledge guarantees that she, of all people, will not discount his idea as being too far-fetched. I didn't think of Hermione as having an ulterior motive, but perhaps you're right about that.
It's very hard to see Harry being ignored by Ginny. Or is it that the Harpies are not letting her letters through? Surely she put Harry on the list for personal mail that's accepted? At least he has his friends. Hermione and Ron would never let him down. I loved the memories of Ron being introduced to Muggle culture. He puts a different spin on it. Good chapter, But I've noticed that Dumbledores chocolate frog card has not been part of the story for a while. And when will Alistor be able to come back?
Author's Response: Dark days for Harry to be sure -- and Auror training's not a piece of cake, either. Makes him treasure those moments of silliness that he spends with Ron and Hermione. The contrast between our world and the wizarding world never ceases to make us see everyday things in a different light. Moody and Dumbledore will return, but you'll just have to let the story spin out as it will.
And the plot thickens. Pranks and secrets. Surprises and so much more. I do have an idea as to what Minerva is leading Ron to, but I'll wait.
Author's Response: A view of life at Hogwarts, post-Harry. Ron would certainly be the one to note that Fred's memory was living on.