I am blown away by the sheer mass and richness of detail in this story. You must have sat up late at night thinking of more things to say about Alastor Moody. In writing like this, you run the risk of becoming repetitious or too wordy, and I read critically with an eye to phrases I would blue-pencil if I were your editor, but in truth I found very few.
The title of your story is good in that it promises the reader that, after the long build-up describing Moody's character as an Auror and his circumstances as a recently-retired pensioner, there is going to be some action eventually. Lacking that promise, a reader might give up about one-third of the way through the story (right before Moody gets out of bed for the first time).
It is hard to imagine that Barty Crouch Jr., masquerading as the false Alastor Moody, could be as detail-obsessed as the real Moody was; probably few people except Moody's four allowed visitors really had an inkling as to the extent of his detail obsession (looking for codes in the newspaper articles?), and of them only Dumbledore was at Hogwarts. How did Barty Crouch Jr. manage to impersonate such a complex character as Moody so successfully, given that he, Barty, had not seen Alastor Moody for years? How did he manage to fool Dumbledore?
The fight scene is vivid and well-described. The fight goes on for quite a while, the advantage switches back and forth from side to side, and Moody's courage is impressive. But, because he was a skilled Auror, I wonder why so few of his shots hit their mark. And Pettigrew and Crouch seem pretty skilled in fighting for men who have spent their recent years as a rat and a shut-in respectively.
I also wonder how they managed to overcome Moody's protections and blast a hole in the side of his house. We are not told of the protections that Moody had on his walls, other than the windows and door, though he believes "the house was impregnable." But nothing is perfect, even Moody's protections, and how they got in is one of those things that we will probably never know.
This story is an amazing elaboration of the personality of Alastor Moody. After reading it, one is tempted to go back through Books 4-7 and re-read the sections which include Moody to see how his depiction there reflects the descriptions in this story.
One nit: in several places the story uses the word "passed" where I think the word needed was "past". But that's a little thing. The story is awesome.
Author's Response: Hi there, so sorry for the delay in responding to your lovely review, I only just noticed it! I am so glad you liked this, I had a lot of fun writing it, and you are half right, I did spend a lot of time just sitting still in an empty room, thinking, observing, and plotting, trying to get into the head of Mad-Eye Moody, and I had a lot of fun with that, so I am glad you enjoyed. I know what you mean about being repetitious and too wordy, and I was conscious of that. It is a very wordy piece, and not a lot happens for a while, which I thought would be problematic. I was focusing more on Moody's character at the start of the piece, and less on action. I am just glad it worked, because people do seem to like the story! In terms of how Crouch managed to impersonate Moody so flawlessly, well I was basing that on that fact that Crouch kept him alive and under the imperious curse, so he could question him and learn his habits and quirks so he could fool even Dumbledore (he does say that in GOF, that he kept Moody alive to question him and learn his character and personality) I am glad you liked the fight scene. In terms of Moody being a skilled Auror and not a lot of his shots hit their mark ... well, he is older now and battle worn and scarred. He has lost his leg. I was trying to capture a hero in decline. He is not as fast, or fit or as skillful as he used to be. I wanted to capture him like that, because I think it is really sad, that his once brilliant and great Auror has to face up with the fact that he can't be brilliant forever, that everything has its time and must end, and his story is a sad one - where he was forced to retire when he himself was not ready to let go... Sorry about the issue with passed and past - I will go and fix that now - thanks for pointing it out! Anyway, thank you so much for your fantastic review, it really made my day. I am just so happy you liked this little story! Thank you so much, your review is awesome.
Wow! That fight was intense! You have an eye for what works. :)
I had always wondered how Moody had been overcome by Crouch. Thanks for giving me a story to fill that gap. It was really well done!
Author's Response: Cheers for that! I always wondered how Crouch and Pettigrew beat him too, so I decided to come up with a possible way. I mean Moody is really tough, the best Auror there was, so I figured they captured him with a combination of luck, and the fact that Moody had his wooden leg. Had Moody both normal legs - I would say that they wouldn't have managed to kidnap and imprison him. Anyway, I am glad you found my account believable, and that you thought the fight scene was good (I really wanted to get that right!) Thanks again for the review, much appreciated it :)
Moody is one of my favourite HP characters. This story gets inside his head nicely.
Author's Response: Thanks so much - that was what I was trying to do, just get inside his head and tell a story, so I am glad you think I did that well. Moody is one of my favourite characters too. Thanks for the review, really appreciate it :)