I am a recent member of the Harry Potter fandom, but I have always had a passion for the written word, and I hope to fulfill it here. I live in a relatively boring corner of Idaho, and I like Kokanee and a good book!
So, I suppose you're wondering what's up with my username. Even if you're not, this is how that happened. No, I was not aspiring to be a Gryffindor. I can't think of any house to which I would belong less than Gryffindor, in fact. It was a moment of clarity that I got while I was battling with myself about whether I should want to be Sorted into Gryffindor to be like Harry or to be Sorted elsewhere and follow my own path. I thought it to be much like the contemplative scene in Hamlet when he weighed taking his own life. I'm not trying to be melodramatic. That's simply is what popped into my head when I was trying to sign up to leave a review. :D
Any questions or comments about my work? Please shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org — I'd love to hear from you!
Even though I know what happened to Regulus and all that, I still can't help but wish that he could have lived, at least for the chance to life the life he had tried to redeem. I also like the fact that Orion Black actually sought out Sirius, but secretly, I think he didn't just want to ask about Regulus...if Sirius had let him finish, perhaps Orion may have extended an olive branch to their Black sheep (horrid pun, lol).
Cheers for yet another excellent installment, and as usual, looking forward to the next.
Author's Response: I wish he'd gotten that chance too, but Regulus had to pay the ultimate price for righting what he did wrong. Orion's main priority was Sirius, but if their conversation had gotten any further there may have been discussion over Sirius's running away. Thanks for reading!
How sweet and delightfully misguided of James to propose during a firefight!
The latest installment, as ever, of top quality and I look forward to 79. See you on Privet Drive!
Author's Response: That's James for you! It's probably one of my favorite things he's done. He's very clueless at the beginning of the next chapter. Ha the Privet Drive scene was a lot of fun to write, hopefully you'll like it! Thanks for reading!
Wow, I laughed until I cried while reading the prank section. What horrible little children...if I have kids, I want 4 just like em, lol!
Author's Response: I loved writing the prank scene! I don't know why, but my favorite part was where something did a jig on Crane's desk (I think it was some parchment...) Imagine having four children like them? There'd never be a quiet moment. Thanks for reading!
By means of a rather bizarre April Fools' prank by the Beta Boards mods and the Slytherin Review Circle, I have been whisked to your author page and to this story.
Oh. Em. Gee. I can't even describe how much I love a good Slytherpair, and this really hit the spot. I thought your characterisation, as well as your plot succession, were stellar and deftly constructed. Also, your writing style is very fluid and easy-reading. It makes for the perfect ingredients of a Fab Story Potion.
First off, the beginning with Draco was wonderful. I really empathised with him and was able to follow along with the story and catch up to the timeline. In just a few paragraphs, I was aware of so much of the changed world in which Draco lived, and it really allowed me to appreciate the way you introduced Pansy. It wasn't two characters thrown together; it was a meeting that could have happened in this story's universe.
Pansy is a lot... different in this than she was in DH. Previously, all we knew was that she was a b!tchy Slytherin social princess who delighted in tormenting Hermione, but as with most people like that, she seemed to grow out of it. Now, the Pansy in DH was a manner of practical coward: making provisions as to not get killed in a battle that she saw as unnecessary, and a coward for not keeping her mouth shut when the Dark Lord called for Harry. I rather like her better in your version, because she is less of a substanceless twit and more of a real person with thoughts and feelings and much more of a grey area in terms of character.
For the pair of them, I love how you make them less 'evil' and more slaves to the necessity of their obligations and one serving as a crutch to the other, forming sort of a symbiosis. Also, I like how their mutual regard for one another gave them both mettle to go above and beyond to keep themselves out of Voldie's doghouse. The scene where Draco murdered Andromeda was especially poignant, because I think, without Pansy's influence, he'd never have been able to go through with it. Also, his subsequent emotional breakdown as his soul was torn in half was gorgeous in a horrible way (yes, that's meant a compliment, lol). You spun it so beautifully and tragically, like a light inside of him going out and the rest of him living in a terrifying darkness.
The proposal amused me greatly. He is such a cheeky little git, assuming she would say yes, instead worrying about whether the stone was the sort she preferred. It was so very Draco to me, and it was a defining moment in their relationship. I'm glad it worked out.
And the end. Wow. I can't even... just, how could you?! It was so sad and morose and pathetic and delicious. I ate their angst like a sweet. I wished it was a bigger chocolate bar of fabulous prose that tortured the 'protagonists'. I probably need help for the amount of enjoyment I derived from their bitter ending, but I loved it nonetheless.
Overall, I thought this was an excellent story, and I'm glad the strangest of pranks could bring me to it.
What a trip! Absolutely brilliant imagery, and Remus's journey of self-discovery and absolution was excellent. Being told by the dead to go back because he didn't belong there was poignant, which I guess meant that he really was dead and they made him go back to life, come back to life.
Wow, the emotions in this story are so poignant and powerful, only to set up Hermione for that big a fall. It just seems that Lucius's cavalier treatment of both Hermione's concerns and his wife's illness are in character, and Hermione's more nurturing nature, which led her to him in the first place, was in character as well.
That's one of the great challenges of rairpairs is keeping the character intact as well as writing a terrific and well-structured story. I do feel that this story would have benefited from a little extra length to lend a bit more plausibility to Hermione and Lucius's expedited fall into such a relationship, but all in all, it's still beautiful the way it is.
Well, that's all from me, so good day to you and happy writing.
~Jess, Ravenclaw House
As I am still in chuckle mode, all I can say is that reading this has made my day. Truly. Thank you for this. XD
Absolutely brilliant! I guess life is what happens while you're busy making plans for yourself, lol. I guess it just goes to show how silly and insecure guys really are.
It took a while for my brain to reboot, but as soon as I started reading, all the memories of the first ten chapters that I had read a while ago came flooding back. As I alluded in my last review, I adore this story and everything about it.
I love the way you spin this tale that is tense and gripping, yet you still manage to infuse small bits of humour to keep it fresh and loveable. One example of that is this:
“You nearly gave all of us heart attacks, sneaking up on front doors these days!”
Augusta just sounds every inch the forbidding woman here. Though Dean was by no means sneaking, and he was approaching the FRONT door, she still managed to make it sound like his fault, which to me is amusing.
I’m surprised that Dean is so civil toward Dudley, but you managed to make that make sense when you told how Dean’s own family had been afraid of him a bit after his first year, and they actually liked him. So, it was only natural for animosity to stem from the Dursleys, especially since they didn’t like Harry in the first place.
“I don’t imagine he would have mentioned us. We sort of treated him like dirt for his entire life. It wasn’t until he saved my life last year that I stopped hating him.” Dudley’s face turned red from embarrassment.
This is the part when I really started to believe that Dudley had truly changed. He not only acts like a civilised human being, but he shows remorse about how badly his family had treated Harry. This is leagues ahead of his ‘I don’t think you’re a waste of space’ from DH. This characterisation was made possible by your excellent work in the previous chapters, and it’s really nice to see this non-git side of Dudley.
Two this year, thought Dudley, plus Dean makes three, plus Harry makes four. “Was Ron the fifth?” asked Dudley, hoping he had done his math right.
Haha, I love this tiny detail of yours. It’s very reminiscent of Dudley counting his presents in I believe SS/PS, and he could barely deduce that he had two less presents than the year before. It just goes to show that, no matter how much he’s changed for the better, Dudley is still the same fat, stupid lump that he was before.
“You can take the bed,” Dudley offered. “You probably need it more than I do.”
Ooh, this shows a generous side of Dudley that I don’t think even he knew he had. It’s yet another sparkling example of how well you’ve managed to both develop Dudley’s conscience, sense of sharing, friendliness, and tolerance, but all entirely within the realm of believability. Very well done. ^.^
“But the pieces moved for Dudley, too?” she asked.
When I read this, I put the pieces together from earlier in the fic when the door or Augusta’s house closed after the ‘second wizard’ entered the front door. I had my suspicions then, and this all but confirmed them… you’re going to give Dudley powers. That is truly awesome, and I can’t wait!
“I will. When that Owl comes, I’m going with them.”
This is one of those times when you sit back in your chair and do the plummeting-off-a-cliff “Nooooooooooooooo!” If my calculations of the timeline are right, Dean is going to heartily wish that he’d never gone that day… poor bloke. I do, however, respect him to no end for his unwillingness to back down in the face of danger. You held true to his characterisation from the books, and a lot of humour fics tend to lose that.
Vernon droned on about his usual complaints. Somewhere between, “You’re brainwashing my family,” and “You-Know-Who probably doesn’t exist…”
See, this is why I totally love this piece! Even in the face of deadly danger and intrigue, Vernon still manages to be the same egotistical gas bag that he always was. Even Petunia has come around to the wizards, but not Vernon. Never Vernon. Last time I reviewed, I praised your Vernon to a pretty good extent, and that holds true now. I hold that you know Vernon Dursley as well as JKR herself, and that really shows in your writing.
But Dudley suddenly felt his body being pulled, contorted, and compressed; he gripped tightly onto Dean’s shoulder, for it was the only sense of direction he had. His lungs tightened and he was out of breath. Finally, his lungs opened up and he gasped a warm breath of air.
This bit of description is just so lovely. There aren’t a lot of instances in the books that showcase the feeling of Apparition, but this one holds true to those benchmarks. I really love how Dudley knew what was happening, but it didn’t make it any less pleasant. Also, though, this made me shut my eyes and just say to myself, “Oh, boy. Here we go.” This tells me that the next chapter shall be filled with shenanigans galore.
With one last exasperated look, Dean agreed and started towards the deserted department store, Purge and Dowse, Ltd., with Dudley, who was armed with nothing but a Skiving Snackbox, at his heels.
Oh, poor Dudders. He has no freaking idea what he’s getting himself into by going with Dean. The danger will be more real and harrowing than anything he’s ever faced, and that should scare him a lot more than it does, but here he is, trotting along into the den of vipers… idiot. I guess no matter how much he’s changed or how much nicer he is, Dudley will always be an idiot. If he had a speck of sense, he would have taken Dean up on his offer to take him back.
Characterisation continues to be the strongest part of this fic, almost to the point that it’s the driving force. Even if nothing was happening in this fic but them all sitting around in that little flat in France, doing nothing but eating and bickering, it would still be an excellent read. Your ability to take these characters and make them transcend their original selves – to become more than the sum of their parts, so to speak – is absolutely phenomenal. This is the reason that this story is so popular. Everyone wants to see the Dursleys in their full glory and wants to see him change into someone that we don’t have to hate.
Also, the way you’ve taken two flat characters with nearly no face time in the series like Hestia Jones and Dedalus Diggle is spectacular. Here are two people that I don’t know, but through the magic of your writing, they are like real people to me as a reader. They have identity, personality, individuality, as well as strengths and faults. It’s just really cool to see characters come to life like this, which is why I read a lot of Next-Gen.
I do have one small nit pick. Very small, but it did bother me just a tiny bit.
“Oh, of course, you don’t know! Alecto and Amycus Carrow, death eaters and Hogwart’s two newest professors!” Her voice was dripping with hatred and disapproval.
‘Death Eaters’ should be capitalised always. There were also a couple other instances where a Potterword was not correctly capitalised, but ‘Death Eater’ was the most frequent of all of these. As a writer myself, I know it’s difficult to know exactly what is and is not capitalised in the Potterverse, but there are great resources available. For instance, there is a LiveJournal community that actually specialises in cataloguing which words are capitalised, which are not, how they’re hyphenated, etc. I use it all the time, and the mods actually use this as sort of a submission bible, so whatever in here is what MNFF considers correct. I hope it helps.
Overall, I still adore this story, and any update you provide will be met with high praise from me. Not many people are brave enough to tackle a character nightmare like the Dursleys and make us – gasp – almost like them. It’s like you’ve taken a small amount of ownership into their characterisations, and though they do belong to JKR, I just feel, as I read this, that there’s a secret little chunk of them that is solely yours. When I read the books and come across the Dursleys, this fic always comes to mind and how you portray them.
I look forward to your next update, and I really appreciate the amount of effort that it takes to do such a great job with knowing the characters and fitting all of this into the timeline. So, until next time…
Take care and happy writing!
Okay, so I've just read chapters 1 through 10 in succession, and I have to say that your characterization of the Dursleys is completely unmatched in quality. It may sound odd, but I think you know them better than Jo. Spending this much time with them, I've even come to understand them as if they were much larger parts of the books than they were, so bravo for that.
I'm especially impressed with Dudley and his acclimation in the wizarding world. He went through the proper amount of dismay and incredulity before he realized that all of this situation was much bigger than him, and good for him. I always imagined that Dudley, should he see Harry again, would somehow try to make amends and even peace with his cousin (I'm still holding out hope that you'll do that).
Petunia was perfect. Simply perfect. It was good of her to admit to herself that she was more jealous than she ever was hateful toward her sister. It's sort of odd, you know, seeing her come to the conclusion that we all already know, but it somehow seems fresh and even more revealing than it had in the Prince's Tale.
Vernon...lol. What else can you say except the man is a complete tool through and through. I swear, there is almost not a single redeeming quality to the man. He never shuts up, he's overly opinionated, paranoid to the point of near dementia, and absolutely hilarious. Bravo for you!
All in all, I am completely in love with this story, and I hope the updating fairy grants my wish, because there is no way I'm leaving a tooth under my pillow for it, lol.
Take care and happy writing,
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! It's always nice to hear another person has started liking this story. I'm honored that you think I have done the characterization so well! I hope to have the next chapter submitted by the end of the three day weekend, so look for it! --Kristen
Absolutely precious story! This story makes me really like Draco Malfoy, since he learned to put aside his own personal prejudices, even offering to put up the ransom money.
The story is awesome, and who could have possibly guessed that freaking Lockhart was one of the villains! And Smith, we always kind of knew he was a slimy creep.
Very nice work!
Wow = this story.
Start to finish, absolutely superb. Usually, when I leave details on what I liked/disliked, and so forth, but I'm actually speechless. Amazing character development, and I had the whole plot figured out by chapter 3, minus Wilkinson, and it was almost painful, waiting for Harry to put the pieces together.
Ooh, suspense!!! I hope we get to folly Ginny and the others into the forest. This should be excellent.
If anyone had a reason to be nervous, it's definitely Harry. He knows the type of challenges one faces in the tournament, and he also happens to love a participant.
Awesome addition to the story, can't wait for more!!!
Author's Response: Thank you! And you're right - Harry knows full well what is awaiting her on the other side. Ginny is skilled though, I wouldn't worry. cj
Wow, it's like getting a surprise phone call from someone you haven't talked to for a long time, and you have to make your brain remember stuff, lol.
Poor Ginny, getting her lights knocked out in the Forest...she's lucky she didn't get eaten by something. After all of those years of idolising Harry, thinking he was some brave, strong hero, it's nice to see her finally realise that he's just, well, lucky.
Haha @ Ivan hitting her up for a date, as if it wasn't enormous public knowledge that she and Harry were an item. That must have taken some gobstones.
The scene with Snape's portrait-I'm of two minds. One one hand, I can't see Snape ever saying nice things to Harry, no matter what it was for, but on the other things, the afterlife (in whatever form it may be) would seem to give on a renewed perspective on what matters and what does not. Plus, if my inferences on the HP afterlife are correct, he could have seen Lily there, and that could have softened him a bit. Not to mention hanging out with Dumbledore all day, who no doubt has extolled Harry's finer qualities several times over, would cause Snape to see Harry in death how he would have never considered seeing him in life.
Okay, hope that wasn't too long-winded. It was nice to see a new chapter up, and I look forward to the next installment [whenever that may be]. :)
Take care and happy writing,
Author's Response: Hi Jess. Thanks for the lovely and long review. They are the reward of my writing! Yes, I figured it was time Ginny got to realize what Ron did in DH - that sometimes the 'heroic' things are just lucky. Ah yes, the portrait scene. I knew I wanted Snape to say something, but the trick is getting him to talk in the same way as before, but different. I also figured that if he knew who had been responsible for getting his portrait up in the office, then he would realize how Harry feels and would know he understands his motivation. I was hoping it got the point across without being too sappy as he would never be sappy in his interactions with Harry! Thanks for reading and reviewing! Stay tuned! cj
Sorry, I'm not really good at leaving reviews chapter-by-chapter, due to my addictive nature in regards to reading as much as possibly as quickly as possible. However, so far, as it comes, I'm rapidly falling in love with this story. Memories of that bittersweet time of life, transitioning from a teenager to a consenting adult and all the accompanying strife, I can relate to the characters, especially Ginny. Her desire to no longer be the baby of the family, to be regarded as an adult, hits close to home for me at that age.
I also like how Dean's parenting mystery is resolved, and maybe, just possibly, the hint of he and Luna possibly having a connection, even though I always kind of pictured her ending up with Neville, lol.
Well, enough of me prattling on. I really appreciate the immense attention to following JKR's details from the books, And I am definitely looking forward to reading more!
Author's Response: Please, do not apologise. I appreciate the gifts of reviews whether they come just once or for each individual chapter! I am touched that you are falling in love with my endeavour. And I think I know of what you speak regarding remembering that bittersweet time of life when one matures into an adult. It is one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy writing about young people, I get to relive those days whenever I sit down at the computer, or pick up my yellow writing pads! I am thrilled that you can relate to the characters, especially Ginny. I feel as if there is so much undiscovered about her. Ms Rowling often tells us in interviews that Ginny was Harry's equal, but I feel she herself could have brought more of that into her stories. I find the characters inexplicably drawn to each other as I write, and the moment in the memorial service between Dean and Luna just seemed to flow from their time together, however brief, in captivity. I often picture Neville and Luna together as well, though. So far, I'm not sure what will happen with those characters later in my fic. I await their direction in the matter! As a detail-person, I appreciate your comment praising my attention to detail from the books. I love bringing up seemingly-small details that true fans will recognize. Stay tuned. cj
This story was fascinating. Nott was never really the kind of Slytherin that Malfoy was, but being shut out of society at large for the sins of his father was just the sort of thing that awaited the Slytherin children, even the ones who had not followed the Dark Lord.
I found the choice of Cho Chang as Nott's saving grace to be both interesting and appropriate. I disliked Cho since Prisoner of Azkaban, when she proved to be a whiny, sore loser, but to show that she had given herself a second chance, and in turn offered the same opportunity to Nott, was genius.
Overall, the style of writing, the flow of the story, and the word choice itself was impeccable, IMO, and I can honestly say that I could definitely love this story.
Author's Response: Wow. I don't know what to say. I'm truly flattered by all of your comments; you've praised everything about this story that I was hoping -- and worried about -- achieving. Thank you so much!
Ooh, I have a theory (which I shall keep to myself for spoiler purposes)!
Yet again, your portrayal of the hesitant relationship amongst the members of the Arcane ScoRA is fantastic, especially the sparks between Rose and Scorpius (which lends itself well to the future of one of my personal favorite ships). Poor Albus, first being dragged around by the hood of his robe and then being kicked in the shin...Rose is a wicked girl, lol
Wow, a manticore. It wasn't a giant, it wasn't some middle of the road beast, such as they had faced before, no. It had to be a freaking manticore, which is completely awesome.
Excellent chapter, and I look forward to its conclusion and hopefully the fulfillment of my theory. Take care and happy writing, Molly. :D
Oh, I spotted a couple typos:
'Eventually, Roses snapped back down to her notes'
'especially when the other wolves saw how useful Cormac’s magic could be to them himself'
'Lifting at the hems of her robes, she made her eay deeper and deeper into the forest'
Sorry, I'm annoyingly nitpicky like that, lol. :D
Author's Response: Well, I have been feeling really inspired as of lately, so I am hoping to finish the last two chapters very soon. I will fix those typos straight away.
Le squeak, an update! This makes me immensely happy.
Though I have not the slightest idea what happens when Orion and Leo are at odds, but I'm sure that, when the story develops, I shall learn.
“No way!” Scorpius said, clearly fed up. “Why didn’t you mention that before?”
X-D Hilarious! I love how he still has some of that Malfoy wit.
So there's a critter a-roamin' in the forest? Can't wait to see what it is. Thanks for the update and happy writing. :D
Author's Response: Well, I have just had a sudden burst of insperation to write this story. I hopefull will have chapter 16 up very soon, and after that, there are two more chapters, and then we will be done.
Gah! I feel like I should know what was on the scroll, but I can't think of it!
This was a fascinating story. First off, your scene-setting in the beginning was so laden with potent imagery. I could genuinely see where Minerva was in my head, and though it may have become a bit too descriptive after a while, it was very well done indeed.
I never thought -- not once -- about Minerva being former classmates (if not quite friends) with known Death Eaters, but she would have known at least a few of them.
I thought your portrayals of both Minerva and Avery were very well done. I felt that Minerva was a young woman who was confident in her abilities but still not entirely sure of herself yet, and Avery was an impressionable young man raised to believe in pure-blood ideals and just drank the Voldemort kool-aid. There was no inherent enmity between them yet, and I liked that you made a note of that. It fit well in the timeline of Minerva's life, as well as when Voldemort was coming to power and when Grindelwald's time was nearly up.
I can't tell you how much I would love to know what happens next. I see Vorona has already entreated you in this regard, but I suppose I shall have to speculate instead.
This piece was interesting and inspired. I enjoyed it, and if a second half of it were to come out, I would definitely not be averse to reading it. :D
Ah, the bastard nature of the causality loop, with effect preceding cause. This was a remarkable tale, and I liked the use of present tense, which made it like traveling over James's shoulder in his journey.