Not an author, just joining up to be able to submit reviews.
I've been reading this story since about the 13th chapter, and I must say (slightly premature) congradulations on finishing such a good quality work. It was a fun read, well written, and showed a good amount of developement in what stood out as the main focus--navigating the overlap of two different cultures in a time of extreme political tension and cultural changes. However, one thing stood out that made this a hard read--the romance plotline. As far as I know from canon, there were no indications of Harry having any Jewish relations--though of course he is an orphan and thus knows less about his family history than most would. Still, I'd think something like Tziporah's life at Hogwarts might have been mentioned to him at some point in the books--perhaps as advice on fitting in, or as a story by Dumbledore about a family member who likewise went to school in a generation whose lives were interupted by the tides of war. While if things work out this way (and I'm hoping that the epilogue can shine some light on this) I can acept it as a minor breach of canon, or even something that simply got mentioned "off-screen", I don't see how the fact that he was a Potter was integral to Edward's character--an OC with a similar personality could have played the same role, and not raised this issue. I realize it's a nitpicky point, but it resulted in me reading the story with half my brain (the part that enjoys reading for pleasure and follows the story) cheering every developement in the E/T plot and the other (the rational canon obsessor/analyzer) cringing at every new chapter. I'm interested in seeing how this story ends, and if this issue will be address. Overall, as I said, you've produced a fine work, and I congradulate you.
Neville stared down at the smouldering scrap of parchment. There, in neat handwriting that was not his own, was printed the name NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM.
When Neville's name emerges from the Goblet of Fire, the Boy-Who-Lived is thrust into his most dangerous challenge yet. For how can a boy with such limited magical ability possibly hope to survive one of the most gruelling and violent competitions in the Wizarding world?
The new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher takes Neville under his wing, but evil is growing nearer and not everyone is as they seem. Meanwhile new complications arise in Neville's life. How will he cope with these challenges, and what awaits him at the year's end? In Year Four, everything changes...
Well, once again, you have brightened up a lousy day with an update. Yet again, you have managed to twist canon in subtle ways that are never the less thought provoking. Seeing the Real Moody in action: awesome. Transforming Dobby from a semi-joke into an elf who has now saved Neville twice (!): awesomer. House elf duel (!!): awesomest!
However, despite all the cool stuff in this chapter, I can't help but wonder about what this means. First, Barty Sr. here is solidly proved to be long gone--a servant of Voldemort has been working amongst the senior Ministry members for months, not just making a pawn of one of it's members. This could have all kinds of interesting fall out, depending both on whether Jr. still dies as in the original timeline and how Fudge's interestingly fragile psyche and overpowered ego takes the implications. Plot effects aside, I'm also intrigued by Winky's fate. She may not be fired here or at least she hasn't been yet. Jr is the last of the Crouch line, so does that mean she's free by default? How will Dobby react (I'm not sure he'll be as charitable as he was in the books)?
For me, the strongest points of interest in this story have always been not the overall story (though that is excellently plotted and written) but the unexpected and intriguing effects of the change on very personal levels. Things like Neville's relations with Ginny, Neville's rising confidence from Moody's assistance and knowing he is "a true Gryffindor" and a hero as early as the third book I never would have predicted just from the original concept. (Well, I might have guess the Gryffindor thing, but the way you did it was very original. I would have expected the Sword to do it, as it did for Harry; you didn’t choose the easy route because Neville wasn’t yet ready.) Finally, the larger number of allies Neville already has and his willingness to actively encourage and seek their help compared to Harry’s astounding reluctance to do so and the implications that has all intrigue me. I am beginning to suspect that while Harry’s “power the Dark Lord knows not” was love, Neville’s is going to be stalwart loyalty and friendship. Not as succinct, but I’d actually argue it’s far more important in the long run.
Anyway, keep up the fine work and I can’t wait for Chapter 20 and then Book 5. Order of the Phoenix was where all the cards were dealt for the final round, and where the shape of the showdown was set. Seeing how it goes for Neville will prove most intriguing.
Author's Response: Thanks for such a detailed and positive review. I feel I ought to try and give at least something of a worthy response. So here goes...
Crouch Jr's and Winky's fates will be discussed in Chapter 20, so we can probably talk about the implications then. I hadn't thought much about the overall effect on the Ministry, so you've given me something I might be able to use there! (and I've just thought of how: consider what the implications might be for Percy. I hadn't thought much about Percy in OOTP, I'll have to work on that.)
I'm glad you appreciate what the main point of this story is to me. For me, it's always been first and foremost about studying Neville's reactions to being in much the same situations as Harry was in canon: how would Neville cope (or not cope) with the same problems, how his personality informs the (often different) decisions he makes. So much of Neville's character is about his self-confidence; indeed, when planning this series out, I needed to plot out exactly how that self-confidence goes up and down with each event in the story (essentially over the seven books it goes: up, down, up, level, down, up, up (with fluctuations in between))
Neville's "power" will be love as well, but there are many different kinds of love, and like you I see Neville's as the inspirational and uniting kind. Harry is a leader; he goes it alone and tries to leave others behind. Neville brings people together, ultimately because he sees other people as far more important than himself. It's an idea that I hope will inform DH a great deal when I get there
Having said that, we're not going to see much of this effect from Neville any time soon, I'm afraid. OOTP is coming, the "out of character" story, of a kind. Harry became all angry and shouty; Neville's reaction will be quite different, and may end up being even more damaging, to him and to others. It's a dark tale...
Wow. I didn't see that ending coming. Who knew Voldemort's Xanatos Gambit would be defeated by Neville's classic clumsiness? "Dagnabit, wrong Champion!" Unless, off course, he's pulling a Xanatos Roulete, and had planned on Neville not actually making it to the Cup. Eager to see the outcome, either way. (Note: both odd terms used here are from TvTropes.org. Look it up, it kicks butt)
Author's Response: I've read TVTropes before (very addictive). GoF really is a Xanatos Gambit, isn't it? I'm not going to tell you what happens, but the next chapter is titled 'The Best Laid Plans'.
Another excellent chapter. Thanks for the comment about my username, it originated on a Star Trek board I hand out on as a completely irrational Borg designation. Out of curiosity, is there any way (ala. fanfiction.net) to set up email notification of new chapters?
Author's Response: Ha! An \'irrational\' designation! I like it, it appeals to my mathematical sense of humour. There\'s an option under \'edit preferences\' (from the \'account info\' menu) which you can select to receive email notifications, although I\'ve never used it myself.
My question is how Voldemort comes back if he got the wrong Champion. I guess he just goes with the lower-power version of the spell (it didn't have to be Harry's--here, Neville--specifically IIRC, he just got some side benefits). Or, again, perhaps something else happens so Nev ends up in the hands of the Dark Lord. Have to be a heck of a backup plan, though.
Author's Response: All I can say is, wait for the next chapter (which I am trying to write, I promise, but I keep distracting myself. Hopefully I'll have it done by the weekend.)
I've been reading fanfics on this site for a while. Today, wanting to finally provide feedback for this series lead me to sign up. Your fic is among the better ones I've read--your Neville is believably alligned with the one we knew in the books, while the alternate universe aspect is keeping this interesting. The small changes are making this a really fun read, and I'm always awaiting the next chapter--something very few fics lead me to do. Excellent work.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you very much, and I\'m glad I was able to bring you in to MNFF. I hope you find many great fics to read and review here; there\'s some fantastic stuff to be found. And hopefully you will continue to enjoy the rest of this series. Oh, and I love your username, by the way!
I'm glad to see another chapter of this--it really lightened my modd after a rather tedious and unproductive day at school. I realy like this, and seeing another chapter reassures me that you're not slowing down too much; I've read too many good fics abandonned halfway through and I'm hoping against hope this one doesn't suffer the same fate before you finish all seven books. So, yeah. Thanks for the cheering-up, keep up the great work.
Author's Response: Well, I've managed to keep up so far, and I had the next chapter ready to go as soon as this one was validated, so that's gone in. The scary thing is, by total number of chapters over the seven fics, I'm not even half way through yet! By my count, I make it 53 chapters down, 74 to go!
"It feels as if the whole world is falling apart," said Neville, "and I'm falling right along with it."
In the fifth instalment of the Neville Longbottom saga, Voldemort is back, but nobody wants to know. Facing pressure from all sides, and feeling alone and abandoned, the Boy-Who-Lived confronts the depths of despair and the darkest corners of his soul.
With a direct link to evil plaguing his mind and the cruel Dolores Umbridge determined to break him, can Neville find the hope and strength to carry on? And will he be prepared to embrace his destiny? The darkness falls in Year Five...
A note on the warnings: there's nothing there you won't find in the canon novel.
Sonorus, you cannot imagine how pleased I was to see a new update notice sitting in my mailbox after giving this fic up for dead for so long. This has always been one of my favorite series of Harry Potter fics, and I would love to see it finally concluded. You have both a good grasp on canon and a knack for introducing logical changes because of other changes--what an alt-hitsory board I belong to calls the "buttterfies" of a change, like the Ford Anglica showing up here intact and ready for Neville to use because it was never crashed into the Whomping Willow.
If you keep this going, know that there's at least one of your original readers eagerly following your stuff. Anyway, I may have to re-read the old stuff to make sure I'm ready to appreciate the new stuff as it comes.
Author's Response: Yes, I'm back, and I'm going to do my best to stay. The thing was, I was working on another fic and I got bogged down creating the plot, and I realised I had an already fully created plot sitting and ready to be written. I could never forgive myself if I didn't get to write some of the chapters I have planned. I made sure I got ahead of myself before submitting, so chapters 3, 4 and 5 are already written, and I'm currently wrestling with chapter 6 and trying to write Luna Lovegood for the first time! Great to hear that at least one of my old readers is still out there.