Hi, Lourdes. This is Vicki of Slytherin, commenting on your remarkable story Masks about the death of Minister Scrimgeour and the fall of the Ministry.
One scarcely knows where to begin. The story is as full of detail as The Garden of Earthly Delights or Where’s Waldo? The richness of the images boggles the mind, and the storyline is like a footpath through a jungle of lush foliage. (Maybe it seems strange to me because fancy dress balls are not as common in America as they seem to be in Britain, so it is harder for me to identify with the scene.)
You have come up with an elaborate plot to explain how the Death Eaters managed to assassinate so many members of the government at once, and it is elaborately presented. I was confused by Tonks, as I concluded you intended, because she was supposedly at the wedding, but here she was at the Ministry, and the narrative seemed to indicate that she really was Tonks. After reading the story several times, and puzzling over the lines He found Tonks just in time to witness her body spreading horizontally. Her spiky hair dissolved into shellacked, honey curls held back by the trademark velvet bow of Dolores Umbridge, I finally figured out that it was really Umbridge all along, Polyjuiced into the form of Tonks, and the spell was wearing off. (Yes I’m kind of slow on the uptake.) So then I had to go back to all those scenes involving Fake Tonks, seeing that yes, those thoughts and words could have been Umbridge’s (the “girlish titter” should have been a giveaway), and I was increasingly impressed about how you pulled it all off.
I also appreciated your in-depth look at poor Percy at this point in his career. The seven books don’t really give us a lot of insight about Percy; we see him being officious and naive at the beginning of his career, and when he appears in the Room of Requirement he says that he eventually saw things as they were but could not easily extricate himself. Other than that, his mindset is left to our imagination. Luckily you have addressed yourself to it with many well-chosen words (loss, regret, solitary hermit, overworked, undernourished, shabby rooming house, heavy sigh, ache under his ribs) that show us how his dream job has turned to ashes in his mouth. I also like your recognition that, at the tender age of twenty-one, Percy could not see the subtle difference between his father’s job at the Ministry and his own job there. Your story helps us see Percy’s story that runs concurrently with the last four books, as he feels trapped and uncertain about what he should do.
All of the politics of this time were complicated, and your development of Kingsley’s role in this story was admirable. I can’t help thinking that it must have taken you a long time to get all the threads of this story sorted out. All the subtle details and little references in the story (though it takes careful re-reading and thought to catch them all) make this a very impressive story. Well done.
BRILLIANT!! Fantastically brilliant!
This was a very unusual bit of writing. I am at a loss as to what to say except I enjoyed it.