Here I am on a late night reading session, and your summary was an excellent one and drew me in quickly. I was really intrigued by Gawain's thought processes and his views on the people he worked with, or rather, his low opinion of them.
I confessed to being a bit taken aback by, in the course of a single paragraph, Gawain musing on Moody, their prey, screaming, and smoking. It felt like a bit of an information overload for a single paragraph. I would've loved to hear more about Gawain's new on Moody, considering the latter is a featured part of the story.
There is a sort of appreciation on my part that you were able to include such grievous injuries in the story and not make them tragic — for the lack of a better term. It was suitably horrid, as being burned alive should be, but it was approached in a non-frenzied fashion, as I would've expected from someone like Gawain — cool under pressure.
Admittedly, I was a bit baffled by Minerva's appearance. Is she an Auror or Ministry official? Since, considering Moody's relative age, this mission would've predated the existence of the Order. I'm not sure if this information is in one of your other stories or not, but it seems highly irregular that she would stumble in on official baddie-chasing business. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on that.
I found the walk to St Mungo's to be one of the more powerful moments in the story. Gawain referring to the stench of charred flesh gave a tangible note of horror to Moody's injuries, as well as the amount of guilt the man bore for his role in a young Auror's nearly-fatal incident. Also, it showed that he wasn't just some gruff, bastard old man who hated everyone who wasn't as good as he was (which I find ironic, since Moody became almost his clone in that respect), but that he really did carry a conscience around with him concerning the young men he trained.
Benjy is an interesting character, but I'm not entirely certain what his role is in the story. Yes, he seems to be Gawain's mate and has some sort of relationship with Minerva, but I don't think I as of yet know what that is. My leading theory is a bizarre love triangle where something is going on between Minerva and Bengy, yet Minerva and Gawain have a spark. Not sure. Again, if you care to share in a non-spoilery fashion...
There's a bit of a typo in this line:
“Oh, I just said we’d make a detour to Tower Bridge on the way.” Benjy laughed. “I bet she’s ripping the ribbon out of my typewriter, the wrench.”
Not sure if you were going for 'wench' or 'wretch', buuuuuuuut you ended up in the hardware store, hehe. Just thought you might want to change it. :D
Overall, this is an interesting start to a story here. I'm intrigued to find out the nature of the relationships between Gawain, Benjy, and Minerva. There are a couple spots that lost me a bit, but otherwise, it was a nice read. Take care.
Author's Response: thank you