Reviewer: Equinox Chick
This is very clever. You hooked me in immediately, with not only the subject of the story, but the fact that Belby was universally disliked and was questionably humn! (That really does intrigue me.) For a prologue, I thought this was very good. You manage to spread the necessary information throughout the chapter in the form of a speech. Whilst this could have come across as info-dumping, the fat that you broke up the speech with asides about the room, or the reactions of the listeners, made it come alive so it felt as if I was actually listening.
And in that speech, and the reactions of the room, you painted a very good picture of Damocles. Clearly brilliant, but ascerbic. He's disliked for berating the room, and whilst someone else (perhaps Dumbledore) could have got away with a lecture, he's very obviously disliked and feared by most of the people in the room.
So, this has certainly captured my interest and I would love to read on, except that you've not updated for a while. Do you think you'll finish?
1959: Those Hideous Scars
Together with his story "The Howling Hall", the author has given us a peek into the part of the history of St. Mungo's Hospital and the evolution of the treatment of lycanthropy. Stories such as these give us the understanding that the magical culture is not conceived as being static or immutable; developments and advances occur, as in the non-magical world. The state of the art in past generations was not what it is today.
The protagonist, Damocles Belby, is not a completely lovable hero. In Chapter 2 the young Damocles shows traces of the prickliness that marks the older Damocles in Chapter 1. This prickliness is also hinted at in the references to his failed romance with Poppy (why did she refuse him?) and his assignment to the unpopular dead-end job in Stokeley Ward (how had he offended the administrators?) Both these points could be explored in further stories; maybe the author intends to do so.
The writing is graceful and fluid. The story is easy to read, easy to follow, with interesting details that enrich the scene.
The timeline seems a little uncertain. In Chapter 2, "1959", Damocles states that he is 26 years old and has been working on the lycanthropy assignment for five years (supposedly since age 21). In Chapter 1, his age is given as 57 and he states that he has been working on it for 30 years. Since age 27? Or maybe he really meant "30-some-odd years", more precisely 36. At any rate, he seems to have developed the Wolfsbane Potion in about 1989-1990, a few years before Remus Lupin's tenure as a Hogwarts professor in 1993.
Thumbs up! Not only fighting the curse of werewolves but people's prejudices and fear.