I wandered into the HP fandom one day, got lost, and now I'm house shopping. I'd like something pink, with a white fence I think.
I know this isn't the place to be smiling, but when I read Neville as an apprentice Healer, I couldn't help myself. He has the right personality, too bad it can't happen in cannon, with his Potions scores being what they are.
The first over-arcing theme to this chapter is of course, Neville and Ginny. It was poignant and sweet and perfect the way Neville was there for her. Harry was a coward to run away. He committed a shameful act in the course of trying to do the right thing. The brave thing, the right thing, would have been to own the action, face Ginny, and move forward. He ran away though, and I find that very disappointing. Neville shapes up as the real hero in this chapter. He loves Ginny, and they look to be on the road to healing, and a life.
The sub plot with Ron and Hermione wasn't ever really center, but it had truth. It kept the chapter from dwelling too long on darkly unpleasant things. And it also allowed a moment with Molly, to realize just how blind a mother can be about her children.
Finally, we get a nice bit of Harry perspective back with his family. Hedwig is sitting on his porch railing like a harbinger of doom. Harry doesn't even greet his old pet. It seems he's going to handle the situation maturely now that he's been forced to face it. Part of me hopes that Rhea is going to stay in the US to go to school. It would be easier on her and Harry.
But I don't necessarily want this to be easy for Harry. He ran away. I think he has to face that action someday.
10/10 Bravo. Encore. :)
Author's Response: *grins* Thank-you for the series of reviews, I really enjoyed discovering them when I returned from my trip. I can tell you that I don't like it when things are "easy". I tend to be rather cruel to my characters ;) You've looked at my story with such great insight that I'm itching to tell you what happens. I'll take my itchy fingers over to word and just keep writing though. More fun that way!
In the present you preserve the triumvirate of perception, opening with Rhea, a good move in my opinion. She’s such a precocious little thing, very perceptive of the people around her, very in touch with who she is. And it seems the decision about which school to attend has been put to rest.
The section with Bill and the newlyweds was very hard to read. It was actually the hardest to read section of the fic so far. I had to stand up three different times, walk away, and breathe before I could finish it. It was powerful. Neville explaining what happened, forgiving Harry, painting Harry as a victim too, was a revelation and a relief. I’m glad that Neville has the perspective to see that, and if Ginny can forgive Harry, I suppose I can too.
Ron and Hermione morphing into Ron and Luna was a lovely extra scene. I have a soft spot for Luna and she always seemed to have one for Ron. I hope they can be happy too.
You see Sara through Harry’s eyes this chapter. Sarah is a strong Muggle woman. Her denial brought a smile to my face, and Harry’s proof was classic. Yes, he ran away. Yes, he wishes he could keep running away. But, I almost feel relief in this Harry-section. He may not be able to admit it, but I think he’s ready to face his past. Maybe?
Sara is lovely. Her moment of aftershock over the dishes was well timed and very reasonable. It allowed a moment of intimacy between her and Harry that was very touching. They really love each other, and I think that will see them through this.
On a personal note, I’m glad Harry took a moment to give Hedwig a treat. He couldn’t reasonably bring his Owl with him into his new muggle life, but it’s still sad that he had to be left behind.
Author's Response: I'm late in responding... but, thank-you! My favourite Shakespeare quote is: "The eye sees not itself but by reflection" I love what you've seen in this chapter and by reviewing you've allowed me to see it too. We don't always know the entire impact of what we've written. So, thank-you very much!
It's fun to read along the lives of Hogwarts students ignored. :) You have distinct characters that you paint effectively and with humor. Canon characters appear on the canvas and slip away while you keep context without losing focus.
I love the promise of Weasly twin time ahead.
I don't like it when authors address me from the text. It breaks the atmosphere and takes away from the narrative in my opinion.
One of your dialogue tags seemed a bit off. The who of the tag was missing.
Example: “Please Ed, nothing would make me happier,” feigned a look of desperation.
Poor Margaret. Draco blasting her liver, when she likes to drink like a fish... it's cruel. What would she do for Glow if she didn't have a liver.
As for Bill's bedside, questioning, it was in character and appropriate, but poorly timed for dear McKee. No one is at their best when regrowing their liver.
This was an excellent chapter, in a captivating fic.
This chapter said basically one thing to me... Identity crisis. Fail OWLs? Pass OWLs? McKee? Malfoy?
Margaret is figuratively screaming at everyone who crosses her path, daring them to know who she is, when she doesn't have a clue. Anger and Vengence are a safe shell, but maybe Bill can get her to take a risk? Maybe Bill can be her mirror, and her partner?
I have to go back to work now, but I suspect, I'll be catching up to you reading this tonight...
All right, you said I was going to be a little confused in this chapter because I haven't read year 6. To a degree you were correct. There was a vagueness to some of this chapter that I'm sure would have been less pronounced if I weren't reading things out of order. An example of a sentence where I fear I was a little out of the loop would have been :Why Bill? She squeezed his hand in her blank thoughtfulness as the headmaster gazed and saw what she would not. He shook his head slowly and pulled his eyes away.
The important parts of the chapter came through though. McKee's absolute anger, terror, grief. It's interesting that she suppresses the latter two and submerges herself in the first. McKee knows how to be angry, to be strong in anger. It's an emotion she understands. There is a backlash of grief just waiting to take over if she lets go of her anger. I wonder how long she'll be able to avoid her grief?
I read this sentence: The porthole opened and she didn’t wait for the entry to be completely opened before bursting inward, thudding across the fine Oriental carpeting, and pounding on the stone flooring to the dormitories. And I thought, a little complex... but perfectly complex in this instance. It rolls with the cadence of McKee's fury. I really liked this sentence.
No! You’re job is to call Daddy’s minions to come hex someone just because your tiny boyhood got all tied up in knots while turning into bench. Yes, she gives Draco too much credit/blame but I do want her to teach the weasel a lesson. But, in the cool light of morning, I have to wonder if these two shouldn't learn to be siblings someday. Stranger things have happened.
Constructive Comment: If fucking a blood-traitor counts, then I suppose you’re three times the woman I am! Did Draco just call himself a woman?
Favorite line of the chapter: I’ll get you, and when I do . . . You’ll wish you weren’t born a Malfoy
I hope this review finds you feeling creative and writing vigorously. :)
All right, this is mainly a Dumbledore McKee chapter. It's a bit of a challenge figuring Albus out. Does he approve of Bill? Does he disapprove? I miss Bill! They can't stay peeved at each other forever.
Biggest question, why does McKee hate her mother? Maybe the dirt is in the next chapter?
It was a relief.
That line summed up the chapter for me. In the beginning, it was emotionally wrenching, taunt, and brutal. McKee apparently had a reason to hate her mother. The fish head box was disturbing on so many levels, the close space the rotten fish smell. I grew up on a fish farm, and I KNOW the smell of rotten fish very well. It was a unique bit of backstory. But on to the relief. It was a relief to finally see what moulded McKee’s early years. It was a relief to see Bill again and have him discover a large piece to his Little Slytherin’s past. Finally, it was a relief to see these two characters let go of the sarcasm, the walls, and just come together physically.
I’m sure the next chapter will be full of new conflict and turmoil, but it was nice to have a moment of relief (release).
Constructive comment: His course hands brushed over his forehead, wiping away the sheen that had accrued there.
The word accrued is technically correct. It seems an unusual use of the word though. I think of bank accounts and financial planning when I hear accrue. It made the sentence read cool, technical. But that’s just my meaningless opinion.
And all the walls come back up. Farewell moment of relief. Hello angry, scared, terrified, little girl. I actually winced when McKee accused Bill of rape. It’s a strong accusation but in character for her, when she descends behind her walls, but Bill dealt with her accusations well. He refused to let her lie to herself, and in the end when they were discovered, I had the same reaction McKee did to his impromptu engagement. Very funny :)
Okay, I read chapter one and immediately thought that I'd missed something, that there was probably a story before this one, and this was a sequel. But I couldn't find a first fic in your author's page. (If I'm missing it, wap me on the head later.) There's a tossed into the story feel to the beginning. It could be because it starts at what would be a middle-point in any Harry Potter book, a Hogsmeade visit. It could be that it starts with dialogue, and runs with the dialogue.
That all comes across as negative, but the chapter was actually rather interesting, and a smooth read. McKee sparkles. She is very Slytherin but not in a negative way. She's intriguing.
The friendship between McKee and Ginny was fun to read, a little snarky. McKee and Ginny bounce off each other well, providing contrast in comradeship.
The strongest part was definitely the dialogue, but you also have some good tangible descriptions that keep us anchored in the world. Lovely beginning. I shall read on.
Another solid chapter. McKee seems to be getting her feet back under her. Maybe she can keep from accusing Bill of any unforgivable sins for a little while.
And that fang! She wanted to rip that fang from his ear.
Leave his fang alone girl… When she gets over being well annoyed I think she’ll realize how dead sexy it is.
And I loved the interplay with the legs. Bill got a good dig in there with this part: “It’s not crawling; it’s resting and enjoying the companionship of your leg. However, if your leg regrets my leg’s presence, your leg is free to go at any moment. After all,” he growled, “it isn’t like my leg is raping your leg.”
“It isn’t simple now?” This line is why I love Bill. He’s so steady, so good for McKee. He can take her shit, he can laugh at her humor, and he stays cool.
Grammar Blip: At one point, Giant, did anyone perceive me to be honorable?” Did you mean at what point?
Okay, so I was too dense to see who the romantic pairing was going to be between in the first chapter, but I think I have it now…McKee + Bill? If so, I am pleased with the pairing. She has so much attitude! And Bill deserves someone a little deeper than Fleur *shiver*.
This characterization struck me as distinctly lovely, and I had to copy and paste it for posterity. Indeed, I read the Daily Prophet for things to laugh at. Don’t ask me why it struck me as perfect, but it did.
And Malfoy is a relative? Intriguing :)
I spotted one grammar blip: Tense jump here - A red streak follows behind it.
Overall the chapter continues to color McKee and gives her increasing depth. It has a nice cliffhanger, but fortunately, I can just click on chapter 3 :)
Draco had better watch out. McKee is gunning for the inbred greaseball.
It was refreshing to come back to Ginny, to get a new perspective on McKee and Bill, to touch base with Rowling's core characters.
Grammar Blip: She’d always thought it was rather silly for Ginny to be around the headmaster’s pets all the live-long day, but understood that Ginny felt a rampant urge to do stupid things before she realized she is smarter than that.
Shoudl the is be was?
McKee and Bill have excellent chemistry. He’s a little older, but boys tend to need the extra maturity before they can handle a strong woman ;)
This selection made me fall out of my chair laughing.
“You’re wearing leather pants.”
“Yes, I do like them. Don’t you?”
And McKee has a mysterious first name. I love the mystery of an unspoken name. Rogue was my favorite of the X-Men, and she never had a name. I know they revealed one for her in the movie and they’ve probably given over the mystery in the comics since I stopped reading, but there was something magical, something potential and unformed about a character without a name. I love the addition. *warm fuzzy*
Ack! I was just warming up to the no-name status! Margaret McKee is a good name though. It rolls off the tongue, very alliterative. You start to sketch in some of McKee’s background here. Dumbledore is her guardian? What happened to her family, her mom? I laughed at the following quote:
There is no alternative. He is not my keeper. I don’t’ care for the giant, but a point – an example – needs to be made. I do not cower. I do not take orders. I shall not be locked up by a senile fool. I will show him. No man is my superior. No one is my keeper!
That was hilarious. She’s going to see more of Bill to defy Albus, her main authority figure. Is McKee a teenager or what? Very well characterized :) Though one has to wonder if defying Albus is really an excuse to act on an un-admitted desire.
Another section that deserved to be copied and pasted for posterity:
She decided to stare blankly at him the rest of the period. He needed to see how bothersome it was.
McKee is so spunky. She’s terribly fun. Snape has to have a hard time dealing with a Slytherin giving him cheek.
Constructive comments times two:
McKee was so enthralled with her deviation that she didn’t notice the cold glare infused into Ginny’s features.
This reads a bit awkwardly. I’m not sure why Ginny had developed this infusion of cold fury, but I’m thinking it may be a Cliffy?
She grit her teeth, preparing herself to wait to dispense her fury on weaker audiences.
I think grit should be gritted?
Wow, this chapter pulled me in a dozen directions at once. There was the comradeship between Ginny and McKee. Ginny is almost OOC for me until I stop and think how little she was really characterized for us in the novels. This incarnation of her is intriguing. The transformation was descriptive and painful. You know that tingle in the pit of your stomach when a dark moment is described so well that you almost can feel the scene, see it, and hear it. I got that at the transformation scene. That tingle is why I like reading dark fics and angst.
It was fundamentally a triumph, McKee over Draco, a positive. I was starting to miss Bill, and he drops in at the end of the chapter... and he breaks my heart.
As I read through the chapter, I picked out sentences and plot points that I wanted to remember to mention as I went back through writing the review, but now that I've read the chapter, there's only one thought, one point, one terrible truth.
All the progress McKee has made toward escaping the darkness in her past is tied up in that man, and the love she's discovered for him. I don't want to think what will happen to her without him. This independent girl who doesn't need anyone, needs Bill. But let's go back to the beginning.
The chapter after Mckee declares her loves opens with a touch of humor and hurt feelings. McKee is mortified by the power she's given Bill and just wants to escape, but that doesn't go as well as she'd hoped. She doesn't have her knives, she doesn't have control of the situation, and she is not happy. She storms out of the room with a knee to Bill's pelvis.
And then everything goes to Hell. The death eaters strike, and they end a couple that I had come to really love. That said, I hope Bill isn't really dead. I hold out a possibly delusional glimmer of optimism.
I look forward to her vengeance on Draco. There isn't anything she could do to him that would fit the crime sufficiently, including death.
Post soon, dash my delusion or fulfill my hopes. Just don't leave me wondering.
That chapter was draining and twisted and wonderful. She loves him. I think he loves her. He can't separate her from the ghost of her father. They end up passionately entwined again. McKee even admitts her lvoe, but somehow, I feel like this has all just become more complicated. *shiver*
Okay, the chapter was excellent, building toward your climax.
This quote said so much: “Not now! Be like you later! Right now, I need a friend!”
Then I read this: But Ginny avoided her eyes. “If I’m going to be on the winning side, I have to be willing to sacrifice.” And I thought.. OH SHIT. You had better not be plotting Ginny's demise. *glare*
Okay. This was a rough chapter. You made me cry. I thought Ginny was going to die. She didn't die, did she? The battle was grim and real and well written.
Constructive Comment: There was a very effective poem like section where McKee is thinking of Bill. The line: Or the ring had sung. Did you mead rung? You might have meant sung and I'm overthinking, or not reading the way you intended.
Let me breathe for a second before I read on.