OK, just a small correction to make. A SABLE is an animal from the weasel family that is prized for it's black fur. A SABRE is a curved, single-edged sword often used by cavalry. Unless you want people picturing someone being murdered by a stuffed black ferret you may want to change that.
Author's Response: OH thank you for the correction, I'll change it right away. English isn't my first language, and here, we spell it with an l. It only gets a tad confusing when words are similar, but not identical... Anyway, thanks! It does make for an interesting picture though, doesn't it...
I really enjoyed this story! Your plot was really well thought out and interesting. I never warmed up to Marcus though so I wasn't overly surprised at the end, but have having both Marcus AND Natasha be the bad guys was unexpected - poor Bill!
I loved your characterization of Bill. He was the perfect mixture of super cool guy and Head Boy.
Thanks for writing this! I'm in Egypt at the moment actually, and am flying to Luxor tomorrow. I'll connect this fic with my stay here from now on. =)
Author's Response: ANDI! I haven't heard from you in forever. You're in Egypt, that is so exciting! I'm very jealous. I'm also extra glad you liked it then, and didn't think the setting was wildly off. Thank you so so much for your kind words. I think Marcus was a bit too obvious, but I'm still learning, so...
This review was such a surprise, I'm so glad to hear from you. And glad that you seem to be doing well. Have a ton of fun while you're staying in Egypt!
Cliffhanger addict! I'm glad I decided to wait until you had this all finished before reading it. So far it's a good read.
Author's Response: Hey! Thank you very much for your review. Yeah, there are rather a lot of cliffhangers, especially towards the end of the story. They just make such good chapter endings! ;) Glad you're enjoying it so far.
Interesting start. I look forward to seeing Bill before he became Mr. Fleur. You've brought up a lot of questions in this first chapter that makes me want to read more. Great chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review :) I'm really glad that you're liking it so far. I hope the rest holds up!
WHAT THE ************ (which I don’t think is a swear word recognisable in English but still). MARCUS!! I liked him! That was sneaky.
Though even as he said it, I thought that while Marcus is playing a crucial role in sandstorm prevention is not the right time to ask, but can understand Bill wanting to get it off this chest. I loved this line: “He relished every grain and the strain that it brought on his mind and muscles.” and the fact that it comes when Bill knows it’s Marcus, but we don’t makes Bill’s desire for some physical feeling rather than an emotional one, heightened. I love the description of the sand hitting Marcus, and Natasha jumping in--it was very well-written, and so quick and rather sad.
AND THE TEASER. I like that Bill feels for his friend, and even as the interrogation went on, by saying, “is that possible”, afterwards and talking about the curse with Stadwell, all of that shows how good a friend is, and in spite of what Marcus did, is willing to help him in any way he can. Oh, and Stadwell, I am rather fond of him. Yes they are going to do something semi-illegal, but if they do that, then they will do it properly and with minimum harm. Please write more about him. And Bill, more about Bill.
I suspected there were more than two plots running side by side (possibly because of Murder In Mesopotamia mind) and the reveal with Natasha was less surprising than Marcus, since if Deverill had been up to something, she really should have said straight away. Her, ““It would have worked, too,” Natasha spat. “If that idiot hadn’t got so worked up over his feelings.” “ line was rather Scooby-Doo-ish but it did work, because of the confusion of Bill/Marcus--and I liked that initially Marcus didn’t want Bill getting involved with Natasha because he felt more morally compromised by it, perhaps, but then when crunch time came, he trapped BOTH his friend and accomplice in a tomb. It’s rather sad that ambition and wounded pride could lead someone to go that far.
Minor nitpick--you have “an coincidental”, where it should be ‘a’. But that’s it :) Your writing is so concise--oh and I meant to say in the last chapter how interesting I found the way the goblins and humans interacted so I’ll say that here. I also like the way that Natasha does care for Bill, which is rather sad, but I don’t think the reader, or Bill, is allowed to sympathise with her that much. With Bill however, that last line was rather sad. It’s interesting that one of my favourite moments from earlier, when they are all happy and laughing around the campfire in the desert, is somewhat repeated here, but in a rather sad context. And the last line...poor Bill. I want to give him a big hug. You’
Anyway, this was an excellent mystery, with a brilliant page-turner plot and I thoroughly enjoyed it. YES write your next one, and sooon!!!! Alex
PS: Oh, also I want to know what the Freudian slip was. I will have to employ some detective skills/ or just ask you.
Author's Response: Thank you thank you thank you. I'm glad that you caught on to the "that idiot" bit, where it could have been both Bill and Marcus. I was wondering whether that was going to make sense. Bill was ... a tough cookie in this chapter. I was trying to get into his frame of mind, and all I could think was that he would feel everything sort of dully, like from far away... but then this is something so personal to him, and so huge, and he is a Weasley -- they're not exactly known for keeping it in... So, I'm very happy that it all seems to be working out!
Won't reveal the Freudian slip here... I'll IM you instead. I want to wait for someone else to read this before making it public :P
Again, thank you a million times for all your reviews. I owe you a lot!
Ooh Kara, this is exciting! So many questions still, and only one chapter left. One of the things I love about this chapter is that there's humour within the danger, but you never lose sight of either. Like when Bill realises what may be the solution, and he has to talk to someone, and Natasha says, "Well is it me?” That made me laugh :)
I also love your pacing in this--the way they go from being trapped (I think the spell to find out how much air is left in a room is very neat) to Bill working it out to the suddenness of the escape, and then the sandstorm--it is excellent.
One nitpick--you have “a certain kind of photos”, where photos shouldn't be plurarlised. Oh, talking of that bit, I loved Bill's summary/ appraisal of the murder/ attempted murder victim. It was concise and yet not reductive, which is tricky but you managed it. SO I would rush to the final chapter but my lovely Mum is making me breakfast. Expect me to finish shortly though :) THis is a great story--Alex
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Alex. I changed the "photos" to "photo" -- that's a construction that confuses me a bit, and I always get it wrong. Thanks for pointing it out!
I'm very glad that you liked it so far... I really hope the last chapter holds up to the expectations!
Nicely done. I know I didn't suspect Marcus,nor Natasha. I was a little skeptical when Deverill blocked Marcus from view during the veritaserum dosing...you did a good job.
Author's Response: Thank you very much :)
Yay! Lovely ending, Kara. I sort of saw the first bit coming (trying not to leave spoilers in my last review, lol) but not the second. That was sort of sad for...well, for him (haha spoilers again) But the last thing was good, it tied it all together.
Bill is such a great guy here. I love him. :) And you seem to have a nice grasp of how to lay out a mystery and then work toward the reveal at the end. It was really fun to read. Good luck with your next one!!
Author's Response: Yay thank you so much!
MMh I think it was a bit too obvious, that first thing. I'm pretty sure that Carole at least had an idea as well. It made me rather nervous for quite a while and I considered throwing it all around and make it someone completely different, but it wouldn't have worked as well in the end. And I think it's okay when people know who the murderer is before it's publicly revealed – Bill knew before then, too!
Thank you for all your reviews and the encouragement!
This story is so exciting! post more chapters soon!
Author's Response: I'm preparing the next one right now, so it will be up by tomorrow evening :) Thank you so much for this review! Sadly, there's only one more chapter to come for this story, but I'm going to write another one featuring Bill as a Curse-Breaker once this one is finished. Again, thank you very much for the lovely review!
heheheheeheh - to the Freudian slip.
,br> OOOH, great chapter ...and nowI suspect Natasha (or whatever her name is) again, because getting trapped in that chamber could have been an accident. But then she was frolicking with Bill in the sand when Mahon died. Hmm, but she's not Fleur, so something has to go wrong between them. *puzzles*.
,br> Great chapter, brilliant suspense when they were trapped and I love the idea of the sandstorm. This is such a good story because it's different from so many others. It has a PLOT! You padfootically are the Queen of Mysteries!
Great tale, but over soon. *wibble* Can't wait for your other Bill adventures. YAY! ~Carole~
Author's Response: CAROOOOOOOOOOOOOLE -- hahahahahaha that slip is never going to leave me. Especially not once "she" reads this and hears about it... Gah thank you so much -- I'm not sure I can handle that huge a compliment! I can't very well refuse it either though, not when it's such a great one :D
The last chapter is taking a lot more planning than the rest taken together, but I'll still get it written tomorrow. DUN DUN DUN
Good place to stop: the mystery continues on several fronts and the resolve is not far away. The dialogue is especially welcome. Again, your paragraphs are too long to keep suspense active. Perhaps revising your text to create clean, sharp sentences will help. Good luck
Author's Response: Again, the first long paragraph is Bill reflecting over the events -- since he acts as the detective in this mystery, I find it important that the reader gets some form of insight into his thoughts, so that they can keep track of how his investigation is advancing and form their own ideas. The second long paragraph is the description of Ragnok's tent, which is necessary because I don't like my characters talking in empty spaces. It's also an aspect of the whole magiarchaeology business that I hadn't really explored yet -- the side of the Gringotts goblins -- and feel might interest readers too. Really, I'm only touching on the surface with this description and only providing what's necessary for the scene that the dialogue takes place in.
Also, while I love writing and reading dialogue a lot, I feel like a story can't be made up exclusively of it. It works on occasion, and there was a challenge around here that produced some wonderful examples. However, with a mystery story, I myself need a scene to set the characters and their dialogue in -- and also to serve as a place where clues can be hidden.
The thing is that the story isn't supposed to be one long rising line of continuous suspense. I don't want to give readers a heart attack. Tension here is meant to move in waves. There are parts that are more suspenseful, and then others that are pauses where both the characters and readers can take a breath and organise their thoughts. Here, especially the second part of the chapter is very literally the calm before the storm -- which is very close to the final action, but also always will be a moment of calm where Bill has time to sit down and think.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean about "clean, sharp sentences". Maybe if you could provide an example, I'd be able to work with it in a better way.
Once more, thank you for reading and reviewing. It's good to know that at least some parts of the chapter seem to work for you. The criticism you give might be easier to understand if you gave examples of what you mean, or elaborated.
Yes...finally a suspense-filled chapter that reads quickly, elevating in tension! The long paragraphs are frustrating!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this review! I really appreciate it. I'm not entirely sure I agree with you on the length of the paragraphs -- there are four longish ones in the beginning that are fairly reflective, and take place before the suspense is being built. After that, they barely even reach five lines, which I don't really see as that long. Each paragraph break is after all a moment's pause in reading and breaks up the flow if used too often.
I'm very glad you found it suspenseful and quick to read. That's exactly what I was going for. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!
Oh my goodness this is getting intense. There are so many thoughts running around my mind right now! Is Deverill really suspicious? Or is he just odd and Natasha is trying to throw suspicion onto someone else... Who really triggered the tomb collapse? What is Ragnok going to tell Bill? And why is Marcus such a shifty bugger? Guhhhhh you are so good at this mystery stuff, Kara. The pacing is brilliant, the intrigue great. I can't wait to see how this starts to unravel.
Author's Response: All I've been able to think for the past days is... I REALLY hope the next chapter holds up! ... yikes.
But for now, I'm really really really glad that it's making you curious and that you're wondering about who might have done/be doing what. That's always the part I love most about reading a mystery myself, so it's brilliant to hear that my story can somewhat produce that effect as well!
Thank you so much for the review and the compliments. I'm feeling very glowy and stuff inside.
So apparently whoever was in Ucupe has the connection to all three accidents that Bill is looking for. I have my theories. It's such fun reading a mystery with clues scattered around and such quick updates! You've really thought this through. The Shield Charm for the sandstorm was brilliant! Can't wait to see what happens next!
Author's Response: I researched sandstorms briefly for this chapter, and wow are they scary. A camp like that, including the excavation and everything, could just disappear within minutes really. (Imagine they hadn't left the tomb in time! eek eek eek) Originally, they were going to cast a dome-like structure, but then I realised that the sand would settle on top of that and then when they broke their shield charms, it'd all land on the camp anyway, so that wouldn't really be any help.
Thank you so so so so so much for all those reviews you've been leaving me. I really hope that the next chapter doesn't disappoint... there's a lot riding on it!
Hello Kara! I really enjoyed these two chapters. You write so well, and I hope you’re not bored of me saying that yet. I love the balance of horror, excitement, romance, intrigue and yet humour as well (such as Bill when he gets thrown back when trying to sneak into Natasha’s tent). I thought it was interesting that Marcus made no comment on Bill and Natasha coming down to breakfast together--he’s annoyed about it, and probably trying to hide it. I think one of the things that makes this story so enjoyable is the amount of detail, like with the protocol when Aurors and Hitwizards get involved, and the way in which goblins will get annoyed by it. It’s really well thought out. And possibly becasue I’m a nerd, or because you write so well, I love the detail of how the expedition is set out, how the artefact’s tent is arranged etc.
I have a couple of minot nitpicks--at the end of first paragraph/beginning of second the repetition of ‘thought’ is a bit clumsy, and you could easily change one to ‘idea’ or something. Also I found it a bit inconsistent when Bill asks Deverill (who intrigued me as I read this chapter and intrigued me even more in chapter 10) if he’s working alone, to see if he could have Natasha around. I mean I know they’re working together, but still, I think she would, ha, distract him and it wouldn’t be professional. But when Marcus comes around later, he has these qualms. I thought Marcus was great here-if there’s a rumour, you tell your friend, and the fact that he quickly told Bill he didn’t have to justify himself was nice.
People are horrible--I think it’s realistic that people (and goblins) might start suspecting Bill under the circumstances.
Anyway I also enjoyed Chapter 10. I liked Stadwell’s care over his patient, possibly at the expense of Bill’s inquiry, but her health was paramount. I also like Mrs Pilliwickle--the comparison to ‘vivacious storyteller’ of earlier emphasised how much has happened in such a short space of time, and made her current position all the sadder, though at least she’s alive. I also had to smile at the fact she is more concerned for Althea’s lost potential offerings to archaeology than to her lost life. That’s very--cold in a way, but so fitting for an academic.
And Deverill--there’s another twist. There’s so much going on here and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are several things at work. I am very curious as to why Natasha hasn’t told anyone this earlier as well. And the CLIFFHANGER. Yes, I’m using capitals. This story is such a good adventure, and I really want to know what happens next and who or what is behind the deaths. Or maybe it’s more than one person....I don’t know, but I want to.
Great chapters, Kara, and please update soon!! Alex
Author's Response: Aleeeeex! I'll never get bored of flattery, especially not when it comes as part of such a lovely review!
Yay I'm very glad that the details work and that you're enjoying them -- because I know that you know a lot about this sort of stuff, so it's all the better if it works with you as well. Thanks for the nitpicking too -- I made a note of it and will go back to see what other word fits best. The reason why Bill wants Natasha around is that artefacts work boooores him (sort of) -- of course it's somewhat irresponsible of him, but he's (shockingly) not perfect.
People gossip so horribly in these situations!
I'm beginning to sort of like Stadwell a lot more than I expected... I might keep him for future stories, haha.
Hah! Not long now until all is revealed... or is it!
Thank you so so so so so much for your review. It's perfect, as always.
I am intrigued by the title of this chapter - traps, not trapped. Hmm. You've also thrown in another unexpected suspect. I admit I'm having a hard time remember much about Deverill aside from when Bill was working on the sable - was he around much before that? Nice bit with the copying, since that probably could have really happened!
Well, I just hope they don't run out of air before you post the next chapter. Happy writing, it's such a fun story!
Author's Response: He was around a bit, but always working – he's the antisocial bloke they talked about earlier!
Well, not much air left now... :x thank you thank you thank you!
I knew it! I was worried they would suspect him! And I'm wondering what is going on with Marcus. But let's talk to Mrs. Pillwickle first. How did you come up with some of these names?? :)
Author's Response: Pilliwickle is a name from JKR herself – I opened a list with basically all the names ever and scrolled down until I found something that fit, haha. Thank you!
Can;t say what I was going to because I know certain people (gina) read reviews before they read the chapter ... heh heh. Great chapter, Kara. The plot really is thickening and I'm not sure who I suspect now. Hmm, I was going to say Natasha but then she ... (can't say anymore - sigh spoilers)
Loved the talk with Mrs Pilliwickle - very intriguing.
Um... not sure what else to say, plot fab, chapter even fabber, cliffhanger more that fabber. Great story. ~Carole~
Author's Response: NOOOOOOO! Is it a very terrible cliffhanger? *bites nails*
I had a very clear image of Mrs Pilliwickle in my mind, oddly -- even if I can't place who I'm basing her on at all. Eek eek eek. It's all going to end soon! Love you mucho for reading and reviewing!
NO NO NO. It's not Billllllllll!!!!!!
Sorry, can't say much more as I need to read on, but your details here are terrific. ~Croll~
Author's Response: EEEEEEEEEEK
thanks for taking the time to review!
I really enjoyed this chapter. I think it was good for nothing 'twisty' to happen, as such, but to explore Bill's reaction to events, and it's quite a terrifying one--I think it's very natural for him to be haunted by it, and god those Weasleys--not going for another potion because he doesn't want to disturb Stadwell...some people. Anyway--I can't wait for the next chapter. Alex
Author's Response: Oh Alex, I completely forgot to reply to this review until now! Thanks -- those uneventful chapters are a bit tricky, but I'm glad it fits in. Thank you so so much for reading and reviewing :)