Summary: Minerva McGonagall comes of age during turbulent times, marked by a horrific Muggle war and the cunning predations of a malevolent, long-lived warlock named Grindelwald. Her own life is marked by struggle: her mother's mysterious mental disturbance; her friends' troubles, which she feels bound to ameliorate; and the looming responsibilities she faces as sole heir to Connghaill Keep. This book, the first in a series, records her last carefree summer and her first year at Hogwarts. The series itself, titled "Before the Beginning", follows Minerva through her formative years,from 1936 through 1945, the end of both the Muggle war and Grindelwald's freedom, and the rise of a new Dark Lord.
The milieu, the protagonist and most of the characters belong to Jo Rowling. The plot is my own.
Thanks to my most excellent Scots, Brit-picking, and history-savvy beta, Ewan Munro. I owe him much more than thanks. Here's to you, Ewan! Most patient beta a girl ever had.
A somewhat confusing chapter for me, will need to re-read a couple of times.
A bit of a deception for little brave Minerva to find out the truth about her father's death. She sure is clever and resourceful, however, clearly courageous and loyal to those who love and respect her. Gryffindor through and through.
I wait with great anticipation for the concluding chapters where all will be revealed.
Author's Response: Thanks for sticking with us, Lucius. I know I\'m not always the clearest of writers. Let me know if you have particular questions and I\'ll be happy to explain.
Good to have you back, SpiderWort! Many avid readers like myself have been waiting patiently for you to continue your wonderful story.
So Minerva is going back to Hogwarts for her second year, sadder and wiser. An orphan by fact, just like Harry. No wonder she cared for him so much in JKR's books.
You provide a great backstory to one of the strongest and most steadfast characters in the Potterverse. I thank you so much!
Author's Response: "... one of the strongest and most steadfast characters in the Potterverse." (I swoon!) LuV you for your support LV, and hugs to my longsuffering reviewers and all Minerva-philes.
Thank you for finishing your first story. It is superbly told, authentic and captivatiing and I highly enjoyed reading it.
Now that you have begun the second story, with an opening chapter that promises an even greater story, I wish you lots of inspiration and perseverance to finish it. I will not miss a single chapter!
Author's Response: Thanks L.V. (Say, is your name out of the series \"Rome\"? Loved it!) It was as authentic as my Scots beta and my on-line research could make it. But I know there are still some errors. If you catch any, let me know--esp. when our heroine gets involved in the Muggle war. (i.e. WW II) : )
Sad and beautiful and touching.
Exceptionally well written and a true joy to read.
IMO one of the finest stories in fanfiction I have come across on any messageboard.
Minerva has lost her childhood, the orphan boy that will change the wizarding world is coming to Hogwarts, depression and war will soon be looming ...
Your first book is almost finished now and I look forward to the continuation with great expectation.
Take care and never loose inspiration for you are a wonderful writer. JKR should be proud of people like you who add stories like these to her magical universe.
Author's Response: Your words touched me, L.V. It was a hard chapter to write because I love Minerva so. You summarized it and my intentions perfectly. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Dammit, now I\'m crying.)
Summary: Werewolves. Vampires. Spies. Secret societies. Love. Magic. Animagi. Prophecies. Ancient goddesses. Sacrifice. More than just the Wizarding world hangs in the balance. Will two unlikely partners have what it takes? D/Hr AU after HBP.
Where and how did you get the psychology and chemistry between your characters down so good?
What a great chapter again, I am admiring your Hermione more and more and grew much into your Draco as well. Hermione might seem a super witch but she is still so human, so admirable, so loveable, so real and alive!
Plus how Lupin and Tonks, Minerva and Narcissa all come to life so true to the drive and course of your story is marvelous.
I also like the way you put Harry and Ron in their place, so much different from any other piece of fan fiction.
You truely are a gifted writer and I hope you can keep this arc till the end and resolution of Hermione and Draco"s fate in their quest vs. themselves, their mutual love, their friends and relatives until they defeat of their enemies and hopefully live to tell.
Your story and Spiderwort's "Childhood's End" are the best pieces of fan fiction I have come across on this board, any board.
You can be proud of your talent in story telling and JKR can be proud of authors like you that keep the Magicosm alive even after the books have ended.
Author's Response: Oh dear. *blushes* It means a lot to me that you would say that because I almost always feel as though I\'m pulling it out of my arse, if you know what I mean. I promise, promise, promise that this will be completed, and I\'m considering a sequel. Thank you for such an amazing review! You\'ve made my day :D
This is what you get when you leave the brightest witch since Rowena Ravenclaw to her own devices ...
I really like the way you handle the psychology and characters of your personages, their development, their interactions, the dialogues, it is so compelling.
You have the most wonderful Hermione of all writers of fan fiction, and your Draco is not bad at all either!
A great new chapter in one of the best pieces of fan fiction on my favourite JKR character, Hermione Granger, all over the net!
Keep writing like this, Ruby, and please try to answer the private mail I send you a while ago.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! Reviews like yours always brighten my day :D What\'s a good story without character development? I\'m glad you\'re enjoying it so much!\r\n\r\nI never received a PM from you, else I surely would have responded. If you sent it while the system was all wonky it may have not gone through. Send it again, or, if you like, message me on AIM (mrsandreamalfoy) or Yahoo! (la_rubinita).\r\n\r\nThanks again, and have a good day!\r\n\r\n~Ruby
Summary: Companion one-shot to The Beast Within from Harry and Ron's point of view. Occurs immediately after the boys leave Grimmauld Place for the Burrow in chapter eleven and brings them up to speed with the rest of the story.
Nice interlude, though not of your usual level of writing about human interaction, my main attraction to your fiction.
The Beast Within is about Hermione and Draco, it is the best piece of fiction around on this pairing of JKR's characters.
Harry and Ron play only subordinate roles.
TBW is very AU, I think the Trio is beyond repair now and can only be brought back together when Draco sacrifices himself in such a way he is redeemed in Harry and Ron's opinion (just like Snape was in DH), so at least they do not hate him anymore.
Draco dying will change Hermione forever and she is so pure a person she will never be the same Hermione again. I find it very unbelievable she and Ron will get back together just like before.
Besides, in TBW, Hermione and Draco are in it together and you have written Draco is such a way that he is a far more intellectually challenging and stimulating partner for Hermione that canon Ron will ever be.
Concluding, I await the progression and conclusion of your superb piece of fiction with great anticipation.
Keep writing and Good Inspiration to you, Ruby.
Author's Response: Thank you. *sigh* I know it was far from my best, but 1) I\'m terrible at writing from Harry and Ron; I just can\'t get inside their heads well enough to do them justice. 2) I literally sat down and wrote this over the course of only a few hours (something that never, ever happens), so I did not, nor did I wish to agonise over it like I do every chapter of TBW. I wrote the interlude mainly for the handful of readers who were really concerned with H&R\'s point of view, so I obliged.
Hm... I\'m not sure how to respond to any of the second paragraph without giving anything away, but I can promise that Hermione and Ron will never, ever in any fic I ever write end up together. Yuck.
Thanks again for the review. The next chapter is mostly complete, but I\'m just not as pleased with it as I should be. It will need some tweaking before I\'ll like it enough to post it.
Summary: In her remaining years at Hogwarts, Minerva will have many adventures, some of which will mold her into the doughty, loyal witch we all know and revere. She will meet many characters already familiar to us: Barty Crouch, senior, Horace Slughorn, Poppy Pomfrey, Hagrid, Pomona Sprout, and... Tom Riddle.
Good to have you back in force and style, Mary.
You have upped the rating considerably and it shows in your writing, very sophisticated with the different perspectives over the opening chapters.
I have really come to like and love Minerva and her friends over your first story. I never imagined I would be looking forward to Minerva and young Tom sharing Hogwarts events, competing against each other even.
I look very much forwards to the unfolding of your story and the events that will change Minerva and the magical world for ever.
Author's Response: You set a rather high standard with your compliments, LV. I shall do my best to live up to them.
Summary: It has been two and a half years since Fred died and George Weasley still feels the pain of loss. So when Ginny and Hermione turn up at the shop to ask him to fill in for a sick Ron at the Quidditch Winter Ball his initial response is a definite no! But Hermione’s plight, for some reason, moves him and he reluctantly agrees to partner his soon to be sister-in-law to the ball. With new robes and some dazzling dance steps, he little realises that this could be the night his life changes for the better.
Yes, I agree with the first reviewer.
This a plausible story about how George and Angelina could have gotten together.
It is well written and I had an enjoyable time reading it.
Continue writing in this style about this pairing.
Author's Response: Thank-you very much for the review. I do have some other ideas about George and Angelina. I think so many people are against them, because she went out with Fred, that it makes me want to promote them even more. Carole xxx
Summary: This fic is a series of missing moments from the time H/R&H were at Shell Cottage, beginning immediately after they Disapparated from Malfoy Manor. JKR shows us what was going on with Harry, but this is my version of what could have happened with Ron and Hermione after one of the most emotional/disturbing events in the entire series.
UPDATED June 2010 When I first wrote this fic, I didn't know what a beta reader was, and frankly, it showed. Thanks so much to Natalie for helping me polish this up and make it more readable. Thanks also to both Julia and Carole, whose helpful comments in the review section allowed me to make some much-needed corrections during the rewrite. I would love to know what you think ~ reviews are very much appreciated!
This was nominated in the 2010 Quicksilver Quill Awards for Best Canon Romance.
Great story. Well worth waiting for the episodes.
First fanfiction? Keep writing like this and you will get your own share of fans.
Thanks for this wonderful read.
Author's Response: Hey, I'm glad you thought it was worth the wait. I can't wait to tell my husband I might have fans.... I can see the look on his face already. ;) I'm so glad you liked it... thanks for the kind words!
Summary: Everybody calls him Squid, and he has but one mission: destroy the Malfoy family. No one can take it from him - not the MLE, not Granger, and certainly not the ferret himself. However, they are welcome to try.
Very well written story.
This has been a great read.
Glad you've finished your story, as many great starts of stories never reach the finish.
Thank you very much!
With the HP fanfiction sort of fading out, stories like these keep the flame of Potterverse alive.
Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this!
Summary: During his final year at Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy had few illusions about where he stood and who the enemy was. However, he never thought he might find a new friend in the shadow of all he had done and would have to do, let alone anything more.
Michael Corner had a way of shattering Draco's expectations that way.
As life at Hogwarts drags everyone further and further into shades of grey, where will Draco's loyalties lie when the lines of battle are drawn?
Good start of an interesting story.
That dark period when the Carrows were in charge of "discipline" surely must have been an awful time. JKR didn't elaborate much on their "regime", but many fanfiction authors have. Most of it is not pleasure reading. It also means Snape has to be a double agent once more. Protecting the students as a decent headmaster, while keeping up appearances as a DE.
It was a fine line that everyone walked in DH. Snape had to protect the students as well he could (well, except the ones who refused to exercise good sense), and everyone affected by the hunt for Muggle-borns had to be ever vigilant to make sure they stayed safe. But even the people on Voldemort's side, like Draco in this story, have to be extra careful if in order to see another day. I guess no one was winning this war.
Thanks for reading!