Hi! I'm Katrina and I am not J.K. Rowling (just to avoid any confusion there).
I've been writing on MNFF since about 2010, but up until a few months ago had not written anything for quite some time. So I am trying to get back into writing, and have quite a few stories percolating in my head, but I just need to find the time to write them.
I basically only write one-shots (I have one three chaptered story), and they're usually character explorations and snapshots rather than long plots, but I've written about a variety of characters, so hopefully there's something you'll enjoy. I like experimenting a bit with form too.
Anyway if you have stumbled here by accident, I do hope you enjoy something.
Wow. Really, really, fantastic, Gina. This was so original and different and yet you stuck to canon and the characters were believable as humans. Sadly the Muggles' actions were also believable.
I loved the opening. You established character and setting so quickly, and you gave such a great sense of the bleakness of this world - even though the Muggle world is intact, there was definitely a sort of post-apocalyptic feel to this which really added to it.
To be honest, I don't think this story seems like it's missing something - you explain enough background in the story for it to make sense.
The idea that a Squib from a Pureblood family genetically created a plague which would wipe out wizards was very believable and creative. Although this line He had been born to magical parents, but without magical ability. seems a little redundant... I think all your readers would know what a Squib is. Just a small thing. It is interesting how humans always persecute those they fear - the round-up of wizards made me think of WWII (in fact I recently saw a French film called "La Rafle" which was about this very thing), and the way the Nazis persecuted Jews because essentially they feared them, or they didn't like the fact that Jews often occupy high-paying jobs etc. Anyway. That whole idea came through very well.
I loved the new beginning/death imagery at the end, and how you called that room the "Chamber of Death". It functioned so well to show the turning point for both these characters. I think it's interesting that they both introduce themselves with their middle names - it's like they're trying to grasp on to the world that they belonged in, but no longer exists.
Just a comment - My cousins died one by one, even Victoire and Dominique and Louis - if Margaret is Harry's granddaughter, Victoire, Dominique and Louis would be her aunts and uncle, not cousins.
Also, I loved the setting being at the Veil, particularly as it's inside the Ministry. They're at the heart of a lost society, it almost feels like they're visiting ruins - except the buildings aren't ruined. Anyway. Lovely choice there.
When Margaret lost her magic - was that because she had had the fever but hadn't actually died?
Anyway, this was beautifully written and unique.
Author's Response: Katrina, thank you so much for the lovely review! I'm especially thrilled because I know this story is a bit bleak and unusual. I'm really glad the things I explained in the end notes came through in the story. Maybe I"ll edit that a bit, but I wasn't sure someone would wonder what in the world was going on. I've already edited the bit with Victorie, etc. - great catch, lol! I appreciate you pointing that out. Let's see - yes, fear is so often a motivator. It was for Voldemort. Yet his response wasn't to go out and destroy everything - he wanted to conquer it. I could see Muggles being so scared as to destroy wizards, but I really, really would like to think we're better than that now. Let's see - oooh, their middle names. It wasn't so much to ground them in their world, but to hint at the world to come. Look again and maybe you'll see. :) And yes, I think that Maggie lost her magic to the fever, but still survived. Not being a genetic scientist, I have no idea if that's really possible, but being a writer, I do. :) Thanks again for the review, I really appreciate it! ~Gina :)
I was wondering what was happening between Oliver and Daphne, though I was still a little surpised that they ended up together. It added a nice touch to the ending of the story.
I loved the Poirot-esque scene in this chapter. I was pretty sure it wasn't Daphne, although when Wood accused Lucius I was almost convinced that it was him. I was suspecting Marcus Flint too. But anyway, you managed to keep it suspenseful til the end.
I enjoyed Oliver and Daphne's discussion about Sorting and stereotyping, and how you tied that into the ending. It added something different to a straightforward crime story.
Anyway, this was an excellent story and I really enjoyed reading it and guessing who did it :)
Author's Response: I'm glad the suspense held up. Because I always knew who it was going to be, I wasn't sure I'd done enough to stop people suspecting straight away. There wasn't a huge pool of suspects either. I read a lot of Poirot type mysteries, so that's is the reason it followed the Christie route with the denouement. Thank you very much for the review, I had fun writing it, even if certain parts were tortuous. ~Carole~
This is a wonderful start, Carole. Oliver Wood is a great choice as a detective because he's so determined and persevering, it's not something I would have thought of, but it works very well.
I wasn't entirely surprised that it wasn't Astoria - there isn't an AU warning and plus with all the 'she was acting strangely' stuff I was suspecting Polyjuice Potion. But as for who committed the murder... well usually I'm quite terrible at figuring that out lol. I don't think it's Daphne - she's too obvious with that last line and the cigarette, but I don't really think it's Draco either. Lucius did seem a bit uptight though... anyway. I'm not quite sure what the point is of telling you my suspicions because you're not going to confirm them or tell me I'm wrong anyway lol. I suppose it shows that this is a really gripping start and I'm really keen to find out though.
You've set up a very interesting family dynamic here, particularly between Daphne and Draco (who are of course not really family yet...)
This whole first chapter is excellently written and Oliver really feels like a detective in a crime story. So great job on that.
Also I happened to be on the Top Tens and noticed that you're now the most prolific author on mugglenet :) So congrats for that.
P.S. Happy Birthday Kara for several days ago...
Author's Response: Darn those warnings, and my own canonicity! Glad you're enjoying the story so far. I find mysteries an absolute joy to read but a real chore to write. so I hope it doesn't creak too much in the later stages. Thank you for the congrats on the Prolifics list, I doubt I'll be top for long, Jess and Gina are hard on my tail. ~Carole~
This is a wonderful beginning. The idea of having Goyle get his life together in comarison to Draco is fantastic, because Draco has always felt himself superior and yet now look who's doing well...
You've shown a change in Draco even over this first chapter, or at least a beginning of a change in how he thinks. I'm very intrigued to see how you write him picking up his life and moving on with it, because I think it's very difficult to do (I'm sure you'll do it beautifully though). Often I read a Draco who either hasn't changed at all or who suddenly cuts out his family and becomes 'good', neither of which to me is realistic. And I'm ranting here... Anyway. It looks like you have a really solid Draco - great character development and very canon-compliant.
I love Astoria. “They are forcing us to marry,” she said bluntly. “I don’t want to. Do you?” She seems to cross her parents' path and not really care much, which is great. Just what Draco needs lol.
Also, very creative that they were going to be forced to be married and stopped that and now something could start...
Sorry, Natalie, for this long rambly and slightly pointless review... main thing is, I loved the story :).
Author's Response: Ack! I am scared of expectations. :(
I don't think I've reviewed this for a couple of chapters, but seeing this fic come up on the Most Recent list always brought a smile to my face. This story was so excellently written and such a wonderful mixture of seriousness and humour.
I loved the Epilogue because you really showed how he had changed. Well, you had really shown his change in the earlier six chapters but this really highlighted it. I think this is possibly the best Draco characterisation I've ever read, it's certainly one of the best. Everything about the way you've written him just fits so perfectly with what we know about him in canon, and yet you add something really great as well.
Back to my comment earlier about the humour - this line was just awesome!
The celebrant must be a spectacular moron to even pose those questions..
So over all, fantastic writing and characterisation which made for a great read :).
Author's Response: Katrina!!
Ooh I'm the first person to review this chapter... and I have to say, I'm rather impressed with how quickly you updated this. I hope they keep coming this fast!
This chapter really followed on from the previous one. I just love the idea that Draco's life is even more pathetic than Greg's... I liked Draco's epiphany at the end and I'm rather looking forward to his interraction with Astoria. You're showing his 'path to redemption' realistically, but as you said in your last response, this is actually quite light as well. So good job on that.
Chloe is... interesting. Does she like Greg because she can control/manipulate him? Or am I being a bit mean to her? It just seems that she's too intelligent for him... not that intelligent and stupid (not meaning that as a derogatory term) can't be together, but she doesn't seem the type to settle for him because he's 'loving' and 'caring'. Or maybe she likes having a charity case?
Anyway, lovely writing as usual Natalie, I'm looking forward to more.
Author's Response: Katrina, I have finished writing the entire story. :D I might need to retouch the chapters, or even rewrite, but the first drafts are all complete.
This was very fun to read, Carole. I loved how you took some well-worn cliches (eg the American exchange student who is beautiful and everyone - particularly Sirius - falls in love with) and turned them completely on their head!
You nailed everyone's character... I smiled at James and Lily's covert relationship (I mean communicating through magazines... really...). I also smiled when Lily thought something along the lines of "I have to go to the library and check this" - such a Hermione moment.
Dumbledore was very in character and rather amusing. I also liked how you incorporated the myth and Charlie's Angels - which I haven't actually seen (although I did know that Farrah Fawcett played Jill Munroe for some reason). But anyway, it made the story fun, particularly when James was reading the Muggle magazine.
Anyway, before I continue rambling... this was a very fun and enjoyable read.
Author's Response: Glad you liked this. It was a bit of fun and an indulgence to write, and to be honest I don;t think it's very good. However, I liked being silly with the cliches - hee hee. Thanks for reviewing. ~Carole~
This is an interesting start to a story, Gina. Personally I think Ron and Hermione would have been married before Harry and Ginny, but of course that's personal opinion, and you've set this situation up realistically.
Ron was wonderfully in character. It's very believable that he hadn't realised that Hermione was looking for marriage, and even that he hadn't thought about it that much. Also the way he changed jobs for her was very in character.
I liked how you included little details, like where Hermione had been working before her current job and including Crookshanks in that scene between Ron and Hermione - it really adds something to the story.
Initially I wasn't sure about Hermione in this - I found it hard to believe that she would really spring this on everyone just two weeks before she left. But the more I think about it, I can see her character there, because this is obviously something she feels conflicted about. It was typical of her to already have a job there - in a way I can see her looking for a job to make the decision easier for herself - as in, if she finds something, she'll have to go. The dialogue between the two of them was excellently written, too, and I could feel both their characters in that.
And possibly my favourite thing about this chapter is Arthur - you have just nailed his character. From "scrutiny" to the way he's already thought about bringing the ring to his support of Ron... just really really really spot on.
This chapter almost feels like a one-shot (although if it were one, the ending would be a bit inconclusive) because Ron has really learnt something and developed as a character. Although since it's going to be longer, I suspect that Hermione won't say yes... which I think would be more realistic anyway, because there's obviously holes in their relationship which need sorting out before they can come to that point... anyway, I'm rambling here.
A great beginning and I'm really looking forward to the rest.
This was a great chapter - adding in something darker and more mysterious about Hermione's parents justifies her actions in the first chapter more. There was something almost Harry-ish about the way she decided that she needed to do this on her own. Usually when he does this, Ron and Hermione find out and manage to help him, so I'm hoping that Ron follows her to Australia and can help her.
All the dialogue between the two of them was written so well and their characters were both done excellently.
I liked that this was more from Hermione's perspective - you did a great job at showing her indecision and therefore how she used everything to justify what she'd chosen (eg finding out that Arthur had suggested it).
Anyway, sorry this is a shorter review than the last, this is continuing to be excellently written and now that you've added mystery to it I'm looking forward to the next chapter even more.
I came across this because I've very much enjoyed your Epitaph series. I have to admit, I'm not quite sure what to think about this story. As much as I believe that Draco redeems himself post-war and that obviously he seems more of a bully in Harry's (and particularly Ron's) eyes, but somehow I felt this story pushed it a little too far.
I loved the idea that Draco held the Slytherins together, and that he was the go-to person, however there are times in canon when he seems only to care for himself. But I think you're right in showing that things are very different from his perspective, and we certainly see that more in HBP. So sorry, I'm sitting on the fence a bit here. I suppose what I'm saying is that whilst reading the story I absolutely believed the character and I thought you created him well, but having thought a bit more about it I wonder if you've just pushed his character a bit far.
Also, I can't remember if you put an AU warning on this (sorry), but following canon and since you've said that Pansy is in seventh year, Hermione couldn't be there. I thought her comforting Draco was a nice scene, but again I wondered if she would... I certainly think she is less judgemental of him than Ron and Harry. But anyway, in terms of the story and Pansy's perspective, using Hermione in that situation worked really well. And also since the story is called "If" I think you can get away with less believable situations, because there is a doubt (for me at least) of whether this actually happened.
Also the lyrics of the song were beautiful and really added to the story.
His mother had loved his father wholly, but Lucius had never loved anyone as much as he loved himself. - I think that is very likely what the Malfoy household was like - we see in canon that Narcissa obviously understands love, at least for her son, but Lucius does seem to care only for himself.
I liked how Pansy narrated the story, but it was really about Draco and the complexities of his character. That was very effective.
So I think it was a wonderfully written story, I'm just not sure if you pushed the characters too far.
Author's Response: To address the first few concerns you raised - this story is a kind of alternative seventh year. There is a note on the fic which does mention that the events of sixth year didn't really happen either - so Draco didn't try to kill Dumbledore, etc. This isn't Draco redeeming himself post war, it's Draco mid-war, totally confused as to what to do in his life. I made Draco the go-to-guy for Slytherin because I couldn't imagine that all of the overly ambitious Slytherins would just accept his leadership, unless he had something to give them back. There are times in canon where he is very selfish, but here I've sort of chalked it up to being a teenager - he can't be expected to care about the world before his time, in my mind. There is an AU warning on this. Hermione here is basically a Gryffindor Draco, in relation to comforting people. I think that Hermione would seriously struggle to walk by someone upset, as she's always seemed to me to be particularly caring. The song inspired this fic, it's been one of my favourites for many years (in a non-sequitor, I go to see the band live tomorrow!). There are two other fics in this series, So and Then, which have been posted here already, which take this on a little further. I'm personally at odds with how things might have gone with the Malfoy household. In this fic, Lucius is a cold hearted narcissist, but in others I've written he's a particular family man - I can't quite make up my mind, so I usually mix and match from both. If I did push the characters too far, I can only say that I enjoyed pushing them. Some of my favourite fan fiction pushes characters particulary far past their boundaries, and at the very least, they always make me think about motivations. Hopefully I may have done a little of the same for you. Thanks again, for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I just read your lovely response to my review... and want to apologise, as I didn't read the warnings before I started reading. So that invalidates about half my review!!! So I just thought I'd leave you another review to say I realised this, and that I think considering this, you've actually done a goob job with the characters - you're right, Draco is just a teenager and if you disregard books 6 and 7, this fic actually makes a lot of sense.
Author's Response: Aw, you don't need to apologise! I freely admit I skip warnings... life is much more fun if you just run into danger! Thank you for the review, again, and I'm really glad you liked this!
This was very different to your other Epitaph stories - after all, Harry is a hero and Snape is at least a hero of sorts. Whereas Bellatrix is a character I truly detest - as in, I would detest her if I ever met her (in literary terms, she's a fantastic character). Considering that hardly anyone really mourns her death, I thought you wrote this very well, and despite my dislike of her, I felt some sort of emotion at the end.
Just a few questions - why didn't Narcissa write the epitaph? You say she would have been Bellatrix's choice, but you don't say why she wasn't chosen. Also, has Rodolphus died? I can't remember his death being mentioned in canon, but I've just assumed that in this story, he is dead.
Anyway. I liked the way you drew similarities between Andromeda and Bella, rather than Bella and Narcissa. Because I think you're right, they both defied tradition in a way. Bella is the only female Death Eater we ever read about - Narcissa supported them, but never actually received the mark. Bella definitely shows the kind of strength Andromeda does when she leaves her family for Ted.
I loved this line. Isn’t it ironic that after all of the time he spent with her, assuming that you and I were the safe ones, the sensible girls who would do as they’re told, isn’t it ironic that we did nothing he told us to do?
That really demonstrates the relationship between Bella and Andromeda, but also all three sisters.
I loved how you used "sister" instead of the name Bellatrix, because a name is loaded with all of her crimes, whereas there is something sweet about 'sister'. It worked nicely with Narcissa too, and I got a clear sense that by writing those words on Bella's tomb, Andromeda was forgiving Narcissa.
It was interesting that you brought Molly into this story, although I think it unlikely that she was offered to write Bella's epitaph. Anyway, she provided an interesting comparison.
I think it's a little strange that you wrote "Bellatrix Black-Lestrange" - throughout canon, she is only referred to as "Bellatrix Lestrange". Although I suppose I see where you're coming from - she is a strong woman with a will - there is a part of her which loves a slavish kind of devotion to others. We see this in her response to Voldemort, and while I don't think she revered her husband in that way, I still think that she would only take his name.
Oh yeah, one more thing, I loved the "moons" and "insanity" in the first line - nice connection there.
This was excellently written and you were spot on with the characters. An enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
Author's Response: Wow, this is a massively long review. I'm gonna work through all of your questions in the order you typed them, but if I miss any, I apologise.
Narcissa didn't write the epitaph as I imagine her to be going through a trial process, and the Ministry would not want a (possible) criminal to 'host' a funeral. The same logic holds with Rodolphus - at this point he's either dead (you're right, his death isn't mentioned in canon), or in Azkaban, or had the Dementor's Kiss.
I brought Molly into the story, partly because I originally had Molly writing the entire epitaph - it read quite differently at that point, and there were some phrases and feelings that I just couldn't let go of.
I wrote her as Bellatrix Black-Lestrange partly to give her a more tangible connection to her sister, and partly to show that she wasn't defined by her husband (after all, who could define Bellatrix?).
Thank you for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed so much of it :)
I loved this story. It was well-written as a mystery/whodunit story, but I liked the fact that the criminal wasn't caught and that it was a 'good' person.
Your presentation of the characters was both amusing and very interesting. Theo was probably my favourite character in this. He was exactly how I imagined him, and I particularly liked his memory of his conversation with his father. I think there's something very - "Slytherin" - about playing both sides and waiting to see who's the winner... it shows slyness and cunning. And yet even though he seems to be staying neutral simply for his own sake, there's something very likeable about his character.
Pansy - spot on job with her, particularly with the way she craves Draco's attention. It fits very well with canon. Genereally, I don't like Pansy, but you made me feel at least some empathy for her.
Blaise - you created a wonderful character here. I loved his sense of humour (I was talking to three girls, Draco. You should try it; it’s fun) and his comments such as Draco loves only one person, and that person is Draco. Also loved his comment about paying attention in Transfiguration. It really shows that particularly he and Theo play roles amongst their comrades, rather than being themselves. I hope I'm making sense here... anyway, Blaise was wonderfully characterised.
The way Draco strutted and had his own "Head Boy" room seems a little hyperbolic... but I suppose with Snape as Headmaster and (he believes) Hogwarts in the palm of his hand, Draco could become even more arrogant.
Susan - very interesting. I didn't suspect her, but then I'm rather terrible at figuring mysteries out. Anyway. I loved her interaction with Blaise, it was so well-written and rather amusing.
I don't think I've phrased it in the best way in this review, but I think your characterisations are really, really impressive in this story - there are small comments all through it which just add to the dynamics between the characters. Plus it was a gripping and well-paced and well-written story.
Thanks for the review.
Theodore Nott has appeared (off stage) in Aurors and Schoolgirls and this story goes some way to explaining Susan’s attitude towards him in A&S (and also some of Susan’s thoughts in “Tales”). I suspect that little Theodore will continue to make appearances in my stories now that I’ve figured him out. I think that he’s one of those people who is out for themselves, but while Draco is “out of my way, Mudblood! (shove)” Theodore is “I’m sorry, but you’re in my way. Please step aside as I don’t want to push you.” Theodore knows which side to be on – the winning side.
Pansy will continue to get a hard time in my stories and now that I’ve figured out Blaise I really must rewrite “Secret Diary”.
I hate stories where the Head Boy and Head Girl share accommodation, it’s a preposterous idea, and canon shows that there was no such thing. This was deliberately hyperbolic.
I was fairly vague in giving out possibilities for the culprit, but there were four girls named in the library (Lavender, the Patil twins and Susan) plus the unnamed Slytherin girl, my very own Fenella.
This could have been longer, but time was pressing.
This is a great beginning, Soraya. The first paragraph really sets up the characters - particularly Scorpius, but also his relationship with Harry, and in a way, the way he fits in in the wizarding world. I loved the paragraph about discrimination, and the sarcastic comment But, yes, respect was apparently the key.. I think that really gives Draco a nice characterisation too, even though he doesn't appear in the chapter. I think it's very realistic that he would "do the right thing" in teaching his son to respect others, but still want him to stick to purebloods when it came to personal relationships.
And, being you, of course you had to end it on a cliffie - I have to say, I wasn't entirely surprised - it was obvious that Scorpius knew Dominique extremely well.
The whole "Blood and Roses" idea is really good and something different and definitely creepy - but I'm sure someone's done something more creepy. Usually true crime is harder to believe than fiction... anyway. It's a great premise for a story.
And just a question - is it that likely that two best friends in the same year out of Hogwarts would be accepted as Aurors? I always had the impression that some years only one, maybe two Hogwarts school leavers would get in... but I'm not sure if that's every clearly stated, and Harry may have changed things anyway.
I'm looking forward to how this continues,
Author's Response: Yay!!! You read Blood and Roses and left FOUR lovely reviews for me!! Thanks a lot, Katrina -- they mean a lot. Firstly, Scorpius -- he's one difficult character, especially as we know practically nothing about him and the Next Gen gang are, to all intents and purposes, OCs. And you think Draco was well-characterised? No way!!! There's a reason I don't have too many Slytherins in my fics. Because I don't write them very well. Thanks, though.
If you look at the end notes of the last chapter, which you probably already have done, you'll see that I got the inspiration from The Mentalist. Re your question... hmm. I've never considered that before. But this story could only really make sense with them as Aurors, so I don't think I could change it. Besides, I'm sticking to your explanation -- that Harry must've changed things. Thanks for the review as always. Lastly, congratulations on the QSQ nomination for Not Alone. Well done!!! And you have Carole to thank for that!
I have to say, I don't like Rose much either. But I could be being unfair - after all, she's hardly in a desirable situation. But she was particularly annoying when she jumped on Harry for knowing about her and Matt...
I thought Harry was very in character here - even though his family is highly involved in the case now, it's typical that he doesn't want to step down from running it. You wrote his dialogue excellently - although I do wonder about the swearing. I mean, I know he does occasionally in canon (although JKR always masks it with "he swore" or something like that), and I know he has a temper, but it just seemed a bit out of character to me.
You write dialogue excellently. Throughout this chapter, it really keeps the pace up and you portray a sense of character so well by using it. The choppy style of the interview between Harry and Rose was particularly good.
I wondered why you included the part when Ron and Hermione (and Hugo) find out - it didn't seem to add much to the story, other than that Harry had also notified Bill and that Fleur was dead (which by the way is an interesting twist), but I think you could have communicated that in another part of the story. Anyway, not that it was a bad section, but I just wondered about its importance.
Rose refuses to take Veritaserum... interesting... but Harry (and Rose, for that matter) should know that it's not infallible... and since Rose is presumably an intelligent witch, she could probably find a way of fooling it.
Anyway, no matter how much I dislike Rose's character, she is believable and I really like that you've gone against the stereotype, because people seem to love to write her as a carbon-copy of Hermione in her first year, which I think is unlikely.
Author's Response: I don't think I've ever liked Rose very much as a character. At least you sympathised with her :) Re Harry... okay, look. He isn't a kid anymore. He's gone through so much, and I don't just mean the war. And he's what, fifty-odd years old? Of course he's going to swear. You've got to think of the situation he was in, right, because it can't have been easy. His niece dying and his other niece being accused of killing her -- it's difficult, and I don't know about you, but I swear when things are difficult and I think he would too. I agree it was a little OOC but think it was plausible given his situation.
I'm glad you liked the dialogue. And yeah, I know I didn't really need to include that but wanted a way to break the tension a bit. And to show the reaction of the other members of the Weasley family to avoid ignoring them completely. Fleur being dead has its own story and as soon as Jess/ToBeEtc has beta'd it for me, I'll post it. Rose is to be disliked but I think she has a right to be disliked, if that makes sense. I don't know why other fanfic cliches are like that, tbh. That's just not believable in the slightest, that Rose would be like Hermione. Thanks for another review, and although I didn't entirely agree with you about swearing!Harry, I'm glad you brought it up -- I'll try and bear that in mind in the future if I can remember.
Haha I know, I don't think I've ever met a doctor with neat handwriting either... I'm seeing a lot of kids of Slytherins who were in Harry's year... Scorpius, Adam, Gabriella and possibly Maira... well at least I'd suspect she's related to Pansy. Interesting.
This chapter was very well-written, and you've really kept up the pace of the story. You're constantly revealing new information about the plot and character and if this were a book, I wouldn't be able to put it down.
Hmm... so if Rose has known about the affair for three years... why didn't she go to work? Her lies in the previous chapter definitely make her suspicious, but I don't think she did it. I think she's upto something else - possibly illegal - but I don't think she killed Dominique, Matthew and Ophelie. Plus, the roses would be a little bit obvious...
Ron's protectiveness of his daughter was very in character, and I liked the fact that the usually calm and collected Bill lost his temper - I think it's something Fleur would have done, had she been there. Hermione is also very in character, except for this one line:
“Died a couple of years ago, Blaise did,” Hermione supplied. I don't think Hermione's the sort phrase it like that... I think she would say "Blaise died a couple of years ago." I know it's a small thing, but it just stood out to me as I was reading.
Anyway, sorry that this review hasn't been as detailed and coherent as usual... great chapter and I'm looking forward to nearly reaching the end.
Author's Response: I worked in a medical centre for my work experience and not one of the docs there had nice handwriting! And I know, I did use a lot of Slyths in this chapter. But they were -- not necessary, I could've used Gryffs or Puffs or Claws -- but I wanted to emphasise that the Slyths Harry knew did go on and have kids and they weren't all thrown into Azkaban or whatever. I'm really glad you like the story and wow, what a compliment! I'm blushing, honest :)
I know you've already come to the end of the story, LOL, so I can't really tease you or anything about that, haha. I was quite happy with Ron's characterisation. Bill was OOC but I hope it worked. And Hermione... sorry. I think I might change that. Thanks for pointing that out -- this is what I get for submitting a story without sending it back to my beta(s) the second time round. This review was lovely, detailed and coherent -- don't you worry! Now...*runs to the next review*
I was right! Well... at least I guessed that it wasn't Rose. As much as I didn't really like Rose when she first appeared, I have come to like her as the story went on. I suppose I can understand her feeling awkward about her parents knowing everything that she knew and that had happened.
I was very shocked when Bill died. I have to say, I was also shocked when Bill, Oliver and Scorpius used Avada Kedavra... but I suppose Harry used Unforgivables at times (though never this one) and certainly wanted to kill people.
The story behind the crime(s) is very plausible - love is certainly one of the most common murder motives (at least in crime fiction it is). Also I think it's clever that you made Gabriella a Zabini - after what her grandmother did - that was a nice connection.
The ending of this story was just beautiful, and it really showed that the investigation may be over (and I assume Gabriella was found), but 11 innocent people have still died, and that is going to continue to have a huge impact on those who cared for them.
Once again, your dialogue is absolutely fantastic and I can't believe how well you managed to resolve this in one chapter! When I saw that this was the last chapter, I was a little surprised because it seemed like there were a lot of ends to tie up... but you did it really well. I'm glad you showed the flashback, it really cleared things up. That night in December 2023 was certainly fateful...
Sorry that this is short, but I have to go now - this was a wonderful story, probably my favourite of yours. Your writing was fantastic and your characterisations were excellent and it was just an all-round great read.
Author's Response: I still don't like Rose, so the fact that you've grown to like her is a really, really good thing :) And I shocked you? Yay me :P Bill was always going to die -- I plotted his death when I did Fleur's. And Bill, Oliver and Scorpius all had motive to kill Gabriella -- retribution. Revenge for their respective daughters' deaths. So I'm glad you got that, ditto the love motive. I was worried it wasn't going to be plausible or something.
Gabriella was not found. Her story will continue, sooner or later -- basically whenever RL calms down and I can sit down and write a story without worrying about anything. I'm glad you thought I tied things up properly -- again, I was worried I would leave something out. Don't ever apologise for leaving a "short" review, though; your reviews always brighten my day and what's better is that they're not even oneliners or anything. And this is your favourite? That's funny -- Alex said the same thing. I think you two are more than a little barmy for liking my work, but, as Jess once said, my ego thanks you :) Hugs and squishes to you for your wonderful reviews! And I don't think I've told you, but I have nominated a story of yours for the QSQs as well -- Curiosity. That's two nominations you've got now! Nice one!
Wow. This story is very impressive, Jess, although rather bleak as well.
I liked the fact that Michael is essentially good. He sacrificed himself for other people and fought bravely etc and he had qualms about using the Cruciatus Curse.
But as Michael looked down at his hands through a blur of tears, his murderous hands, what he truly wanted was entirely different. He truly understood what Unforgivable meant. I loved this part. For some reason it reminded me of Shakespeare - in both Macbeth and Hamlet (through Claudius) he shows guilt through hands... anyway, I could be reading too much into it, but whether or not it was like Shakespeare, it was a fantastic paragraph. It just summed this whole story up so well.
I liked that Michael used all three Unforgivables. I find that whole concept rather interesting... after all, Harry uses two Unforgivables (although I don't think he really does any harm with Crucio), and particularly when he uses the Imperius Curse, he doesn't seem to regret it. I also wonder how Molly killed Bellatrix. Anyway, I'm getting off track. The interesting thing about how Michael used the spells, though, particularly Crucio and Avada Kedavra, was that they were entirely unnecessary. Miles was not hurting him at those times. Neither was the Death Eater whom he continued to kick. I loved how you described the feeling of power it gave him.
I'm sure there's a lot more to say about this fabulous story, but I can't think of anything more right now... this story nearly had me in tears. It was very well-written.
P.S. Happy Birthday to Hannah and to you!!
I believe that times of trial are when people are either at their best or at their worst. Harry killed the most evil wizard of all time; Ron used quick wits to destroy a Horcrux; Neville pwned Nagini; Michael did none of those. He fought becuase he felt like he had to, like there was no option, and he even made Lisa think she would be a lesser person if she didn't, as well. But when the battle started, he quickly realised that he wasn't meant to be a fighter, and he wasn't half as brave or level-headed as he'd thought.
Miles was added because he knew how to push all of Michael's buttons. They had known one another for ages, and hated each other for nearly as long. It wouldn't take much for Miles to know how to turn the screw. But one thing that Miles had not counted on was the idea that MIchael would go that far, being a goody-goody and all. It shows a bit of both of their borderline childish naivete. Had they been anywhere else and Miles had said all of those things, Michael probably would've cursed him with a Stinging Jinx in the crotch and left him alone, but nothing could've prepared Michael for the amount of hate, outrage, and injustice that Michael felt in those moments of weakness. Miles ended up paying for it dearly.
Anywho, I'm glad you liked it, and I'm sure Hannah will be thrilled with the bday wish. I'm so glad you visited, and thank you for the happy birthday. It's been amazing so far. :D
Firstly, I loved the T.O.A.D.s - it makes sense that wizards have some form of tertiary education and that abbreviation was in keeping with OWLs and NEWTs.
This story was very well-written, Gina. I liked how you didn't explicitly say who it was that Scorpius liked at the beginning - although knowing that it was for Jess helped me figure it out.
I loved your characterisation of Scorpius. He was used to it, to watching from a distance, always wanting what he couldn't have. That was wonderful, plus it linked really well to the title.
His father had issues with the Weasleys and the Potters; Scorpius even had a few himself. Instead of letting it really bother him or turn him into a snarky, jealous git, he simply kept his thoughts to himself and stayed quiet, always observing from the side, alone. I also loved that idea that he's quiet and keeps his thoughts to himself - I find that sometimes Scorpius is written as a carbon copy if his father at that age, and I believe that Draco would change after the war and that Scorpius would be different. So (if this makes any sense) I really loved your charcterisation of him. And there was also enough Malfoy in him, too.
I also liked that you didn't have an unrealistically soppy ending, but rather left it with some hope for the future.
Roxanne was an interesting character, too, because of how much she still wants Scorpius and yet also wants what's best for him. That last line was just beautiful. It was interesting how she used her 'personality' to hide her true feelings and to me, when she said "You'll be fine, though. You'll find someone, some beautiful Italian witch—or wizard, if you like—to snog on the beach. It'll be amazing. I'm envious." that she was speaking for herself as well, trying to convince herself that everything would be okay.
Anyway, lovely story Gina.
Also Happy Birthday Jess!
Author's Response: Thanks so much, Katrina! I really appreciate the compliments on characterization, since sometimes the character's character (haha) seems obvious to me but who knows if it comes out in the story. I'm so glad it did. I'm really glad you liked it. I was writing another story and toyed with the idea of Roxanne and Scorpius hooking up, so I might have to come back to them. And as for the TOADs, that was Hannah's suggestion when I was looking for something both more British and less Muggle, hee hee. Thanks again! ~Gina :)
This story was beautifully written, Carole, although I'm not quite sure what to think about the ending. The characters were very believable and I could empathise to an extent with each of them (obviously not completely... seeing as I've never been involved in a battle).
I really loved the awkwardness between Seamus and Dean at first, and how they came out bluntly that they'd missed each other. (Sorry, that's a terribly phrased sentence.) Anyway, it just felt very realistic and I could really sense their friendship.
The conversation between the three of them about being scared to go to sleep etc was also really well-written.
As for the ending - Parvati said that she didn't want to ruin things between Dean and Seamus, but to me it seems that choosing not to decide will actually make that worse... if that makes any sense. Could she choose? Did she have to? Did they survive this year just so one – or all – of them would be miserable?
Hmm. Anyway. This story was very well-written but above all I loved your characterisations.
Author's Response: Hey, Katrina, thanks for the review. This is deliberately ambiguous, but I wanted a different type of relationship between the three of them than the Trios that also defies the norm. It's also written for Jess, who likes a pairing(s) with a different slant. Glad you liked the characterisation. I think I enjoy writing boys' banter far more than girls - hee hee. Thanks again. ~Carole~