Well, I'm Anna.
*giggles* Wizard fiction, Nan? Have you got any idea how much I envy that marvellous story-telling ability of yours? And then I don’t mean the story Tonks was reading, of course, but all the lovely details you come up with and include. They really set this story apart from others; it gives it such life.
You probably found my last review sadly lacking in constructive criticism, and I’m afraid this one won’t be any better. But that’s not my fault, really; I’m blaming it on you and your devoted beta reader. So there. ;)
I think it’s wonderful that Tonks is so determined to find out what’s going on with Mavis Rosier. I can see an Auror in her already – and how fitting that she’s reading a mystery novel! Oh yes, that reminds me! I was going to suggest that Tonks’ clumsiness interferes with her spying on someone at some point. It was just something that I came to think of while catching a glimpse of the future Auror Tonks, as she nearly failed the Stealth and Tracking part of her Auror examination.
It bothered her that they had planned to go without asking her ahead of time, and she considered turning them down to prove that she did not need to do everything they did — she was tired of being the tag-a-long. On the other hand, if she refused they would just go without her.
I quoted that part because I want to talk about how well you nurture the feminine sides of Tonks. Not that she was ever described as masculine, but I think that a lot of people see her as bit of a tomboy. But you show us so many aspects of her feelings (like, perhaps not crushing on, but clearly being a bit enthralled by Bill), and the part I quoted is just. So. Girly. Or perhaps it’s in the contrast between how the boys think and how she thinks. Kevin and Charlie probably never even considered that Tonks would be offended by not being asked to go sooner; at least it’s my belief that many boys don’t think that way. Whereas Tonks reacts exactly like I would have myself. Fortunately, Tonks decides to go with them anyway, which, in my eyes, makes her a strong person. She would rather go along and get a chance to have some fun, than stay and mope because it wasn’t on her conditions. And, *cough*, the conclusion of all this babbling is that I think you write Tonks perfectly, Nan dear.
“Who put you in charge?” asked Charlie. Tonks blinked at the unusual tone of his voice.
This is very interesting, since I mentioned the almost-constantly-happy Charlie in my last review. So perhaps he has a jolly disposition and is generally optimistic about things, but no believable character is happy all the time. You so efficiently remind us that although there are more Weasley children, Charlie is still a little brother. I thought I could hear an echo of Ron here, and you made me realise that having Bill for a big brother must put some pressure on Charlie too, if not as much as having five older brothers puts on Ron. Lovely.
“Myself,” answered Bill lightly. “But I assure you, I am a benevolent dictator.”
Hee. Nothing interesting to say here, really. I just love how you write Bill, and I felt that it was very important to tell you this. *wink*
I should probably mention something about the plot too; you know, with the mysterious ring and all. But… even though Tonks continues with her investigations, it’s all very subtle. (Or else I’m just not very good at picking up plot “clues”, but let’s not talk about that. >.> ) You’re weaving your story so very carefully, and it develops smoothly and flawlessly.
And then, to round off, there is of course the Tonks and Ninette scene. Oh, Nan, when will Tonks and Ninette discover the truth about each other? (That is of course not a question I expect you to answer, but just me worrying for your characters. Bad habit of mine, I know.) I want them to be friends so badly. To tell you the truth, I care much more about their prospective friendship than about what happens with the ring or about Ninette’s mysterious past.
Mesmerising, Nan. Mesmerising.
*looking below* I see that the SPEW magnifying glass has already been over Fifteen Minutes several times. Am I sensible and about to let that stop me? Nope.
‘It wasn't working this year.’ – crash, bang, boom, it begins! I think I mentioned it in my response to ‘What Makes a Good Fanfic?’, if I did I’ll be repeating myself now: There has to be something in the beginning, preferably in the first two paragraphs of a one-shot, or in the first two chapters of a longer story, a something that catches me. When I wrote that, I didn’t imagine that I would read this – a first line that stole my full attention. Nice.
The next thing that comes to my unorganised mind, is of course how clever this is. I love to see intelligent people elaborate with theories, thinking deeper about Jo’s works, combining questions and ideas. This can lead to some nice discussions or editorials, or as in this case, a beautifully written result of a plot bunny.
Never having had (or wanted to have, really) any control of my emotions, I had silent tears running down my cheeks both first and second time I read this. So, why is my weeping mentioned in this review? Because it’s a proof that you know how to write emotions, to communicate to me what Hermione is going through. You have got the ability to move my feelings, and you use that skill well. *sniff*
I’ll have to echo other reviewers, that my absolute favourite parts of this one-shot were Hermione’s journal writings. The story would have worked without them, with Hermione only thinking about the whole thing, but by adding them you have put both cream and strawberries on an already tasty cake. You can tell by Hermione’s words that she has carried the thoughts around for a long time, and that she is finally ready to share them, be it only with a journal. All of us authors know how liberating it can be to write in general, and what an effective way it can be to deal with things specifically like loss and grief. I’m lucky enough to have all my relatives alive, but I have lost someone else who was close to me, and I can relate to this way of finally coming to terms with it, as it was exactly what I did then. It’s obvious what thought and care you’ve put behind this idea, Lian, and I want to compliment you for doing so.
I’m also echoing others when I say that there were no spelling or grammar mistakes to pick up on. (Also, the benefit of reviewing late is of course that I get edited versions, he-he!) I’ll only be a bore about one, tiny thing. In the second last paragraph of Hermione’s second writing, I love how you use the word ‘remember’ to create a flow, a rhythm. Therefore it might be odd when I quote this:
‘The one time in my life when I would give anything to remember the exact words is the one time I cannot remember them.’ - as much as I like the multiple ‘remember’:s, this seemed like one too many. I think the sentence would have been more powerful if you had lost the last ‘remember them’, resulting in ‘…is the one time I cannot.’ But, as always, that is just the Fantasium’s opinion.
A lovely, thought-through one-shot, Lian. Thanks! Now I’m looking forward to the day when I will see some of your new, chaptered works.
I'm glad the first line caught your attention; I tend (in general) to be pretty awful when it comes to writing openings. I'm glad the journal was powerful for you. I was trying (in part) to use the journal as a device to give the reader a sense of how much time has actually passed. The journal entry is not an immediate response to death; it is the culmination of years worth of silent pain and reflection. It is a young woman looking back on the experience of a young girl. I'm pleased that you got a sense of the passage of time.I think you're right about that one sentence. I think I'll go back and take out the 'remember them' when I have a moment.
Thank you so much for leaving such an amazing review!
*rubbing eyes* Ehrm, Maeve, how can you ask anyone not to be traumatised when you deliver trains of thoughts and dialogues like that? And I can’t see any reason whatsoever why you would label it “a strange one”?
I can’t believe it, but I think it’s the first time I picked up on a mistake in your works: “Maeve felt the urge to open al the windows in the house…” - it should be ‘all the windows’, I presume. And how tiny was that? You truly are amazing.
Before Maeve makes here decision, this is about a parting. I’ve seen some similar situations in fanfiction, all about the younger characters. They have not been convincing, both because they haven’t been so well written, but also because to the words and feelings have been based on young love, the fiery, passionate kind. This is… well, convincing would be too little, but I trust you to find a suitable synonym. I’m obviously slightly biased, having read your other works and knowing your characters, but the compassion between the two is still dazzling and the way they have become dependant on each other is true, it has really nothing to do with rash feelings of youth.
Nice glimpses of Maeve’s life, but you have to watch yourself or else I (together with quite a few people, I imagine) might make you write all of it, in DoL-style. The image of the old Neville was touching, I much enjoyed how he had become close to Maeve and was there at the end, as supposed to Harry. If Harry was even still around? - “We outlasted them all.”
The very end was fascinating, Afterlife has always been a big issue for me and I love to see how others approach it. I generally don’t like the idea of everyone turning into some common being or spirit or thing, but Severus and Maeve becoming one was just right.
Now, then, exactly how good a friend must one be to get to share that wedding night? ;) All the best, to you.
lol, okay, I will start this review with assuring you that I realise how perfectly superfluous it is. Your story is finished, edited and has 900 something reviews, so… Well, if you had had an unfinished, unedited story with less than 900 reviews, I would have reviewed that instead, so let’s agree that this particular review is all your fault. ;)
I will admit at once that I have never read this pairing before, but that doesn’t mean I’m not intrigued by it. While Hermione and Tom Riddle are profoundly different, they’re also both very intelligent and highly skilled, meaning that you do have something to build on and that it’s not a completely unbelievable and whacky pairing.
Now, onto the first chapter, which you’ve so cleverly called ‘The End’ (and created such an excellent circle by calling the last chapter ‘The Beginning’).
She watched its procession across the forest clearing with a horrid fascination frozen in her tracks.
This sentence doesn’t read as well as it could do. The very last part, ‘frozen in her tracks’, is supposed to apply to the pronoun Hermione, but now it looks like it’s describing the noun fascination. You can correct this either by adding a comma after ‘fascination’, or, preferably, by moving it to the beginning of the sentence. It would then read like this: Frozen in her tracks, she watched its procession across the forest clearing with a horrid fascination.
It’s the only way.
“It’s the only way,” Harry had said in a whisper, only a few hours before.
This is EXCELLENT. Hermione’s thought seems independent, but you give it much more power by showing us that it’s an echo of what Harry said earlier. It’s just like Hermione too, isn’t it, to remember exact quotes? Very, very well done!
Hermione gazed up at him, full of fearful uncertainty.
Again, I’d like to suggest a small change. Your sentence stumbles a bit at ‘full of fearful’ – even though it doesn’t look like it in print, it sounds like you’ve got a very close repetition of ‘full’. I would recommend writing ‘full of fear and uncertainty’ instead. =)
“You won’t fail, Harry. You can’t,” Hermione choked out.
“Dumbledore said ...”
Those lines are both Hermione’s, so there shouldn’t be a blank line between them. The blank line usually suggests that another person starts speaking.
She realized, as if doused in freezing ice water, that she was the only one alive in the clearing, save the demon that stood before her.
I really like this too. Did you write this before or after reading HBP? Or, rather, did you know about Voldemort’s Horcruxes when writing this? Because when we learned about them we also learned that he really isn’t alive, and you reflect on this very nicely here. Voldemort isn’t alive, not really, not like the rest of us. And if you want to call him ‘demon’ or ‘monster’ or something else matters less, but what’s important is that you’ve included the part about him not being alive.
The part about Hermione’s time-travel is really well written; I can really imagine, no, really feel what she must be feeling, and what a strange experience it must be. You have very good way of conveying feelings to your readers, Maddy!
And then, ooh, we get to see young!Tom Riddle. You give us so much information about him only in that paragraph and the last line, but yet it doesn’t seem like too much. The nightmare, his fascination with Hermione, his belittling of himself and his opinion on dreams, and, most importantly, his worry about going crazy – it all says so much about the Tom Riddle you’re going to be writing about, and it all fits very nicely with the canon facts J.K. Rowling has given us.
This is a lovely and intriguing beginning of your story, Maddy, and I enjoy your style of writing. I think I’m going to have to save some chapters to my computer and read them for the ten days I’ll be without Internet connection. Thanks for sharing such a nice story! :D
SQUEEE! *throws arms around Jan, then around Remus and Felicia* After this chapter, I shall die as a happy woman. I could just stop reading Severed Souls now, and rest assured that everything will turn out all right. Not that I will, of course, but I could! *does a little happy dance before settling down to review*
Right, I’ll restrain myself for a bit and start at the beginning.
Remus looked down at the scratched and stained table, wishing someone else could do all the lying and persuading for a change. - how suitable to start off with making me feel the usual sorrow for Mr Lupin. He has just failed to make Maeve stay at Hogwarts, and now he’s not doing so well in getting Harry to go back there. Plus, this time he’s not just doing this because he feels like he should, no, he’s also got Severus breathing down his neck. In a way, I come to think about Roderick in the last chapter, about how Remus is also expected to be a Mr Fix-it. When he gets angry with Harry it’s easy enough to understand why and it’s anger well justified even if some of it was due to frustration. What I found most interesting was Remus’ last line in the scene: “Use your head, not your heart!” - this could just as well have been spoken to Remus himself, by Severus. There’s nothing hypocritical about it though, nor does it feel like Remus has been affected by Severus’ ways. No, I guess what I’m looking at here are just different levels of maturity and logical thinking. Remus accuses Harry of acting like a young Sirius, which leads me not to think about the differences between Harry and Remus, but between Sirius and Severus. Such different men, yet in such similar situations. It’s an interesting thought, that Severus who actually did kill Dumbledore, has more people on his side than Sirius had, even though he was innocent. I keep waiting for someone to draw the parallel to Harry, but I suppose that if it happens, it will be at a well picked moment. :) I like the fact that Harry is not giving in, he’s perfectly in character, and as is Ron. *resists urge to roll eyes at Ron*
Detail picked up from the first scene:
Tom chose that moment to shuffle across. He had been inching ever closer to them in the hope of finding out what they were talking about but as soon as they noticed him they fell silent. - why, I wonder why? Is he just interested in any old gossip, or…?
Some truly delicious Maeve/Narcissa in this chapter. I don’t think I will ever get tired of reading the two of them together, with that dialogue. But although that is interesting, it gets truly exciting when the nightly visitor arrives. It’s such a typical mark of your excellent writing, how you don’t give his identity away at once, but hold back a little to make us wonder. The Jan-descriptions are there as well, as always: The beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were black as the darkness they had just left. and Moving with all the grace and furtiveness of a night time hunter…
After Severus looks at Narcissa, I found this part to be worth an extra thought: He found it painful to tear his eyes away and look to the other woman on the opposite side of the room. - painful? Because he’s feeling sorry for her? Or because he remembers their past together, never mind what it was like?
And, the Severus/Maeve… *sighs* They are reason enough to cherish this chapter, from disagreements to understanding, from Severus’ threatening behaviour to their sparkling love. There is so much to appreciate with their interaction, and I can’t quote all of it. I’m just reminded of why, when people talk about their one-true-pairings, Mr and Mrs Snape always come to my mind.
Narcissa’s interruption had me making squeeign noises of protest, and I covered my eyes as if it were a film playing before my eyes – that is how alive and vivid all of your writing is, you know, it turns into detailed settings and real people in my mind. Narcissa is excellent in her distress, irrational and almost panicking she reminds me of some wild animal. I’m glad Maeve stopped her husband, and that she found strength in herself to care for Narcissa when she deserved it the least.
And then, *snogs*, my Roderick appears with his witty words and once-again so merry personality to aid Maeve. What can I do but to love him endlessly? And as if his mere presence wasn’t enough, you give sudden light and hope to my ship: “They’re never too old, my darling, only too penniless.” *grins madly*
Remus! Felicia! *dies repeatedly* Dear God, I’m just such a sucker for love and happiness – it’s really rather pathetic. ;) But even if it was a tad unexpected (I’m still pretending I wasn’t shocked and dumbstruck when I read it the first time), it was not random at all. Yes, I might be a bit weak for happiness, but I appreciate it more when it follows difficulties and tough days, and the most when it’s a pause in times of trouble. I certainly don’t see a safe and secure future for anyone in this story, and love is yet another reason to worry. I used to feel rather confident about Severus/Maeve, but with other couples around I can’t really expect them all to have a happy ending. Well, whatever’s waiting around the corner for all of these marvellously written characters, I know it will be a thrilling read – because it always is when you write, Jan. :)
I realised now, when I sat down to do this review, that you have found a very effective way of shortening them. :) But there are still a few things I haven’t brought up, and some things I will repeat.
I’ll start with Severus. ‘He stroked a finger down her clear cheek.’ I mentioned in the last review, how you are giving us more and more of his emotions. Here is another sign of affection, something you have not rushed on, but let come slowly, when us readers were ready for it without starting to shout “OOC! OOC!”. So, well done and well placed in time. Plus, that I like his gesture in itself, taken out of context.
‘“I’ll contact you. Take very good care of yourself, for my sake.” He touched her face and gave her a smile. “And say sorry to Lupin for your earlier behaviour.”’ - this is really another example of what I just mentioned, that also gives us another proof of Severus’ love – something I’m beginning to adore. But also, it’s a hint of what Maeve is awaking in him, not just emotions but a fairness, a will to do what’s right. And not just the things he ‘has to’ do to live on, not just the most major things, but seemingly insignificant things like telling Maeve to apologize to Lupin. In fact, the more I look at the five last quoted sentences, the more I admire the clear but subtle change Severus is going through, being married to Maeve.
‘The thought of wandering through Whitby with the crème de la crème of the Death Eaters on her tail wasn’t exactly her idea of a fun day at the seaside…’ - I both like the actual introduction of these new ‘princes’, and how you do it. They are frightening, I can’t deny that, but the ‘crème de la crème’ bit also adds a bit of humour. It sort of shows that Maeve has seen rough times, and although she realises the danger she’s not about to panic. Lovely.
‘“I’m here now to pay my respects and then I think I will de done with Hogwarts.”’ - ‘…done with Hogwarts’, it just makes me so sad. Going to school is an era supposed to end, but it breaks my heart. I think of how all stories must end, but how I want them to go on, and on, and on. I don’t want the Harry Potter series to be almost completed, I don’t want to think that Severed Souls will not go on forever. And I don’t want Remus to ‘be done with’ the castle. :( It also made me think of how Harry isn’t going back to Hogwarts, how he is forced away by his destiny.
On a completely different note, this is where I found that typo – it needs to be ‘be done with’, not ‘de done with’.
Let’s continue a bit with Remus, even if I will be repeating myself. After Maeve’s bashing, I couldn’t help thinking it could have been such a typical man/woman scene, where she was angry and he didn’t understand a thing. But, even though Maeve was ‘marked’, I still thought there was reason behind her comments. Remus is trying to make his words sound like he only wishes to protect her, but his love for her is shining through, although I’m convinced he’s unaware of it. This love is not of the friendly type I approve of, but the variety he has got to let go off. I know it can’t be done on command, that wouldn’t be realistic, so even if I hate to see him like this I’m still going to have to give you credit for writing it. Also, he’s much better towards the end of the chapter, actually back at the stage where I only want to kiss and cuddle him. So, his character will move on to the next chapter on a high.
Oooh, dearest McGonagall! Firstly, she makes me jump by going ‘“Ah, Professor Snape.”’, I was totally in on Harry’s reaction even though Maeve’s surname was just discussed in the text. Then, you give me such a clear picture of her current state. She’s turning into quite the Headmistress already, appointing teachers and manipulating Maeve. But at the same time her sadness is shining through, she’s human, she never wished to be put in this demanding position, and she misses Dumbledore. *sigh* I like the words around the new teachers as well, especially I like the name ‘Aileen’. ;) You keep the readers guessing on the DADA teacher, nice.
I’ve said already about Filch, and now I’m saying it again – gross! I’m glad that you gave me this thinker, about his relationship to Dumbledore… There is both canon to ponder, and Filch all through DoL, but it comes down to pretty much the same thing. I expected him to be sad about the Headmaster’s passing, but you corrected that thought – when did he ever agree with Dumbledore, when did he ever say a good word about him? Still, Dumbledore kept him as the caretaker… Yes, things to ponder on, indeed. And:
‘“He knows a lot about Hogwarts though, an awful out about Hogwarts.”’ - something that could be useful, perhaps? And oh, this is where I found the second mistake, it needs to be ‘an awful lot’, not ‘an awful out’.
There! If I say anymore I will only be repeating myself. Lovely chapter, all things moving forward at a pace I feel very comfortable with.
Yes, it’s The Swede making some sort of attempt to catch up with reviews. =)
“Yes. I killed Sirius’ brother. But it was pure coincidence that Sirius hated me.” - Hmm… This makes me think that Severus believed that Sirius did actually still like his brother, despite not being a part of the Black family anymore. Why would he think so? Simply because they where siblings? He must have known about the disagreement between the two Black brothers, with one being a Death Eater and the other the Godfather of Harry Potter… Anyway, just a random thought.
Let me go back just one step, to the amazing tenderness of the hair brushing. How much he had changed, that he would share a moment like this. That he would be so tactile. It would have been unthinkable just a year ago. *nods* Yes, you are so right. When looking at it as a whole, it’s quite a remarkable change he has gone through since the beginning of DoL. And yet, I can sit here and enjoy the closeness between a wife and a husband, because of the thorough and methodical work you have done on Severus’ character (and Maeve’s, but not to such a great extent). It makes me wonder what you thought at the very beginning, how much you planned to change him… And most of all, what changes he has still go to go through.
Well… I wasn’t going to mention Remus at all, you know, but I can’t seem to help myself. I sit here grinning like my mother would over the sappy ending of a romantic comedy, delighted to read about Remus’ good fortune. And as for Felicia, I know I have read the following three chapters so that might be why, but I still find that I like her more than ever. It’s a bit like… Now, don’t get me wrong, but something about Felicia reminds me of OotP-Tonks. Yes, it’s something small, probably just the jolly attitude and new light introduced to a gloomy atmosphere, but it’s there. I’m not a huge fan of Remus/Tonks in canon (as I think you know), but when reading about Remus and Felicia I can sort of see what JKR tried to do; to find a “perky” lady for the worn Remus. Well, she made a fair attempt. You succeeded. *huggles Remus & Felicia*
He sipped from his glass, irritated by the moustache that caught the froth of the beer. - the POOR man! You gave him a moustache! I mean, I know he has done all of these horrible things, killing people and such, but a moustache?!? I say you’re being hard on him, Jan. *gives up her moustache-burning on Remus and goes to rescue Severus instead*
As always, you give yourself time to set the mood of “new” places, and Maeve’s return to Grimmauld Place is no exception. Descriptions, perhaps seeming unnecessary to some readers, but crucial to me for a good read and as the mark of your work. Like There were signs of Harry and Ron’s recent occupation: a sweet wrapper crumpled on the table, a dirty glass left on the mantlepiece, where it had left a ring as a calling card. and What use is a book if it isn’t being read? These were redundant, and she could feel their wretchedness. *content sigh* But, wait… As I copy/pasted that, my spell check told me it’s supposed to be ”mantelpiece” – could it be so?
And then… *GASP* Ebil, ebil author! Yes, yes, I know what happens later on, but you can’t just kill Maeve like that! Or, clearly you can, and all right, I will give you the credit for doing so with uttermost style. The clocks… *feels little shiver run down spine* Of course, by now I know what’s actually happening in the final scene, but when I first read it I was too worried to realise that the happenings were similar to something I had seen before. I’m glad that Maeve remained unknowing of the cause during her short, horrible experience, because that made the cliff-hanger even better.
<.< Hopefully, it won’t be this long before I review next chapter. I’m being such a bad First Fangirl! But still a fangirl, and one who will still re-read chapters during the wee hours of the morning, and try to squee quietly so not to wake up the whole house. *huggle*
Ah, the eventful Chapter 14! What can a fan do but to love it?
The opening scene completely belongs to Ron. I’m not his number one fan, but I still appreciate how you give him the credit of finding the locket, for being useful for once. His arguments about going back to Hogwarts might well be thought up because he wants to see Hermione again, but there’s nothing stupid about them at all. You show us the serious side of him, but also the humorous one: “Or round his wife’s grand, scrawny neck,” Ron laughed.’ as well as the part some would call silly, but which I think is adorable: ‘…his mind now drifting pleasantly to thoughts of Hermione.’
And then back to Carrowdore Cottage, to one of the best mornings I’ve come across. You know already how I adore the precious Snape/Snape pairing, and reading any closeness between the two is like eating Thornton’s Treacle Toffee to me. It seems like each time they touch is carefully planned and thought through at the same time as it’s natural and spontaneous. Earlier this year, I would never have thought that the line ‘…enjoying the heaviness of her against his body.’ concerning Snape would have touched my heart at all, and definitely not that I would have smiled happily about it. Although I suppose this is still true, because this is not simply Snape any longer. He’s Severus, and even if you will never hear me say that I adore him, I have certainly grown very fond of his character.
“I will never sleep in a cave like some mongrel with only rats for company,” he hissed.’ - I’m reminded of Sirius yet again, and I wonder if that’s also what Severus had in mind… I can’t remember if he knew of Sirius’ hiding place in canon, although I think he didn’t, but the word ‘mongrel’ is to me connected to the word ‘dog’, and through that to Sirius.
You’re trying to make all of your readers fall for Roderick, aren’t you? Why else would you write things like: ‘His hair wasn’t its usual well-combed self and Maeve couldn’t help thinking it made him look rather more attractive than normal.’, ‘…his half-undone shirt revealing a smooth chest that was almost, but not quite, unblemished.’ and “I promise. I will take the utmost care of my personal safety so that I can always be around to harass and generally infuriate you,” he said into her hair, breathing in the soft scent of her recently vacated bed.’ I wish I knew just when Roderick turned from someone amusing at the best but most often annoying, to someone I’d gladly snog at any time. You must have tricked me somewhere along the road, and now I can’t see a way back. *pretends to grumble* But seriously, you have really succeeded to turn his character from something great into something amazing.
“RAMPTON!” Severus’ voice roared down the stairs. “Stop trying to seduce my wife and get that Malfoy woman out of my house and to safety.” - *giggles madly*
‘Ron was sitting in the kitchen simultaneously eating a ham sandwich and playing Wizard’s Chess against the board.’ - I really like the detail of a self-playing chess board, it’s like Muggles playing against their (or our, I should perhaps say) computers, just that it runs by magic instead.
A bunker! I must say, even if it’s not very nice, that it really suits Severus. Or at least the Severus he was before Maeve returned to his life. Tidiness, lack of details, a place ready to be inspected by some official at any time. It’s feels colourless and empty, but then Maeve enters and in my mind I can see how her presence and red hair lights up the dull rooms, just as she did when she re-entered Severus’ life. There is a new reality to everything when they speak, and even if Maeve has to stay put it’s clear to me that she was meant to be beside her husband all along, and not hidden away at Hogwarts.
“I love you, Maeve,” he said, before hurrying from the room and closing the door behind him.’ - so powerful… It’s really amazing what holding back those words most of the time does to the times when they are spoken. And you don’t have to add that he said it with feeling or passion because we already know that if he does say it, it’s because he means it. I’m very glad that you let Maeve make the observation that his words would have been very suitable last ones, because as she did I’m less afraid that might be the case. I know we’re not exactly at a point in the story where Maeve or Severus would likely die, but that doesn’t stop me worrying for them, constantly.
The boys (yes, in a story where men like Remus, Roderick and Severus are so important, Harry and Ron seem like boys) returning to the castle feels better than I thought it would. In canon, I think I would be disappointed at such a plot development, but even if Harry has got a major part of this story, there are other characters I’d just as well like to read outside the walls of Hogwarts. Hermione is very good welcoming them back, and very nice of you to keep a bit of tension between her and Ron. And speaking of young romances, I’m very glad you decided to include a bit of Ginny. I had certainly fooled myself thinking I just wanted it there for things to be correct. Truth is that I’m shamelessly fond of the two together, and even if there are more interesting and original liaisons to be focusing on, a part of me is secretly hoping for things to turn out all right for Harry and Ginny.
“Although he did say something about a family crest stitched to the person’s undergarments.” - *snorts* Excellent! You know, the world of fandom has its advantages sometimes. :) I’m glad that Hermione has decided to stick to what she found out about R.A.B. even if Maeve wasn’t very encouraging. I’m sort of hoping for a secret visit to the cemetery, but of course not until we’ve had to live through another encounter with Filch…
Tee hee. You’re probably wondering what I’m doing now, Jan. Well, I thought since I had completely messed up with my responsibilities for this worthy chapter, I might as well take my original comments and turn them into a review instead. (That, and the fact that I don’t trust my e-mail…)
I really like how focused this chapter is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always amazing to see and learn what is happening in different places of the Severed Souls-world, but since that’s what we’re normally spoiled with this becomes more special. Everything in this chapter concentrates on the same event, and all of the actions become more intense.
Intense, yes, as the potion-brewing and the caring for Harry. Serious as the situation is, this is pure enjoyment for any Severus/Maeve shipper. You have written love-making and tenderness for us before, but I almost dare say this is better. Some of my favourite fictional relationships are favourites just because of that – because the author has written two characters in a situation where they need to work together for something important. Through such work, it seems that a good author has got a perfect opportunity to show care, compatibility, understanding and chemistry between two characters – just like you have done here.
What he really meant, Maeve reflected, was that if she administered the potion, he could not be said to have saved Harry Potter’s life. - I love that Maeve understands this, and I love that you show it to us.
Remus, my Remus. You don’t happen to be planning some Remus/Felicia cubs, do you? Because I think he would make quite a brilliant father. His concern for Harry is so touching, so perfectly written. Also… this might be a bit far-fetched, but for some reason I get the feeling that after getting a dose of Sirius from the portrait, Remus somehow cares even more for his friend’s godson. Oh, and don’t ask me why because I can’t explain it, but when I read this chapter I suddenly had a vision of a Harry/Remus conversation at the very end of Severed Souls, a sort of thoughtful end-of-the-adventure conversation where Harry actually thanks Remus for all that he has done. Yes, Jan, your story does all kinds of strange things to my mind. ;)
Oooh, I’m very excited about Severus’ plan! Excellent turn of the plot, Jan! I don’t know what I expected to follow Harry’s injury, but certainly not this! I had a hunch that it might lead to a Harry/Severus confrontation, but no idea that we would take such a big step on the way towards Voldemort. I simply can’t wait to see how things turn out, and I’m more anxious than ever to read the meeting between Harry and Severus. Especially with this: Wherever it was, a confrontation between Severus and Harry would be inevitable, and she knew that she needed to start preparing for that. - It really makes me wonder what role Maeve will play…
Bit of nitpicking:
“But Severus is.capable. - A mysterious dot has appeared between “is” and “capable”.
The came corner that had seen Severus commit to acts that he probably would have shied away from without her involvement bringing his sense of obligation to the fore. - I’m guessing that should be “The same corner”, not “The came corner”?
Then I really need to ask you about something. When Maeve had seen to Harry, she tried to lift him. I wonder why? Where was he planning on taking him? She obviously didn’t think about using her ability until Severus suggested it, and she can’t Apparate. Those are really the reasons I can think of for her to actually try to lift him with her own strength. Is there a reason she did not Levitate him instead? Yes, I do realise that using magic puts a bit of distance between them, but Maeve is also sensible and should have realised that she couldn’t lift him.
And the end scene… Oh, I’m bubbling with questions, but I suppose that was your intent. What is Percy up to, really? And what is the whole business of Roderick and Nagini being at two places at the same time? It feels like that would normally involve a Time-Turner, but… And why would Nagini attack Neville when taking him out was Draco’s job? I hardly don’t think that Voldemort would put his precious snake-Horcrux at Draco’s disposal? No, there seems to be something rotten inside the gates of Hogwarts, and I’m longing for you to clear things up a bit.
Lol, I don’t suppose that I’m in a position to pester you for the next chapter? No, I’ll just try and look extra sweet and pleading instead. :)
Guess what I should be doing right now? That’s right, Grammar. But let us pretend that’s not the case and get on with this long over-due review instead.
A long, completely action-packed chapter. I’ll dive right into the Maeve/Severus relationship, because recently it has just become… well, if someone said to me when I started reading Daughter of Light that my OTP would be Snape/Snape, I would have laughed at the idea. But it’s true. I’ve always found the pairing interesting, but it’s now when they are becoming closer despite the distance, that I’ve started to fully appreciate it. These are two complex characters, and to read about their feelings for each other and their interaction is a treat for anyone, but especially for us fans. I really like how Maeve loves and misses Severus for the person he actually is, as you show us with: ‘She smiled to herself as she remembered his simmering presence, recalled the countless times he must have stung his students into trying harder or battered them into submission.’
Even if you have shown us more and more of it, I believe this is the first chapter where we get an idea of the depth of Severus’ devotion. You show us this through his actions, through Remus’ thoughts and words, and it’s so beautiful in its reality. I just want to make everything else go away, worries and troublesome people, to leave Maeve and Severus in peace to love each other. But even if I could, I would never really do so, because what exists between them becomes even more important when surrounded by darkness and despair.
I mentioned Remus. I always expected the final realisation that he would never get Maeve to be a relief, but it was not. Instead I feel sad, because Remus seems so lonely now, his last bit of hope having been thoroughly smashed. I’m desperately trying to figure out what it is with “your” Remus that makes me feel so much for him, since I don’t normally care much at all about him. You make me annoyed over his behaviour sometimes, you make me love his loyalty, courage and occasional wisdom, and you succeed in making me really sad when things don’t work out for him. But how? Well, I shall continue to wonder about that.
I’ll just briefly mention Ron and Hermione, because even though they’ve got smaller parts I think you do such a good job of keeping them in character. It must be tempting to completely forget about them when you have characters like Maeve, Severus, Roderick, Narcissa, Harry and Remus to deal with, but I appreciate that you take the time to include them somehow. Ron’s ignorance over Lavender’s behaviour, whether faked or not, is just too typical. But so is his worry for her to fall of the broomstick. Hermione is her perfect sharp self, and reluctant to be left behind. Nice work!
Should I perhaps say something about the actual Horcrux matter? ;) My mind finds your theories and ideas very satisfying and the descriptions of the temple were very Jan-ish in style, as was the drama that took place inside. I like the extension of Harry’s connection to Voldemort, that he could see the temple, just like I always enjoy when you tie back to JKR’s works.
I find myself wondering if Maeve’s experience in the temple was specific for her, or if it would have happened to any non-Slytherin-relative? I also wonder, if Maeve had to destroy this very Horcrux because of the fact that she started the reaction in the temple, or because she’s a part of the Prophecy, or for some other reason? And what of Harry’s handling of the Horcruxed (is that even a word?) cup? Will he be as unaffected by all of them? Are all people unharmed by just picking up the item, meaning that it’s just the protections and actual destruction of each Horcrux that is dangerous? Mind, that were not actual questions for you, just random pondering… I also like how you include Harry blaming himself, like so often: ‘It was so easy — the cup was just there and Maeve wouldn’t be suffering had he been brave enough to come unaccompanied.’
And then, the masterpiece… The whole conversation/interaction between Severus and Remus is just marvellous! It’s definitely one of the best Severus scenes you have give us thus far, he’s completely true to canon with lines like ‘“Oh, Lupin, Lupin. Always on the periphery of things, never quite making it into the inner circle of knowledge.”’ and ‘“You were never man enough for her in the first place.”’. Yet there is a whole new dimension to him, entwined with this canon, showing up in him saying things like ‘“You wouldn’t understand the sacrifices one has to make in order to do what is best.”’ and ‘“ While I am in this state of flight you can watch over her.”’.
This is probably the most emotional Severus Snape I have ever read, but it’s also the most believable. The man is crying, but only a heartless demon would not do so in his situation, so it’s quite right. Let me be so boring and repeat myself – I’ve been searching my emotions and logical thoughts for something to object on with this touching portrayal of him – but there is nothing. All his feelings are justified, and I can only admire you for all the hard work that has led us up to this. Bravo, Jan!
I’ll end the review by quoting the last sentence: ‘And Maeve slept, slept safe under her husband’s watchful sorrow.’ - because it’s beautiful, and despite the state of Maeve I cherish the closeness.
Now… it’s sadly time for me to obey the ever-present call of Grammar work. :)
May I start with saying what an excellent timing! You uploaded it, and then it was mod:ed and accepted just in time for me to print it and bring it along on a 5-hour car journey. It was about the one think that made the trip bearable. :)
Then I must begin with Narcissa. I read the excerpt already in the forums, so I was expecting something good. And I got even more than I had imagined, I think you understand Mrs Malfoy well, you write her as admirably as all other characters, JKR’s or your own. In addition I love to see hints of your own theories on her, how you interpret her relation to her husband and Severus. And I must say that I wonder about her hesitation in the sentence “He has been a good father to… to my son.”
The whole interaction between “these two very attractive, distraught women” was fantastic, we got to see yet another side of Maeve at the same time as you introduced Narcissa in a very satisfying way. One of the little details, when Maeve felt a little ashamed over maybe trusting Severus less than Narcissa does, it’s things like that which make Maeve real and a character to relate to.
I was very surprised to see Lugh Lamfada so soon, I hadn’t expected him yet. And also it felt a little upside-down to see him move around like a normal (or at least close to) person. I know we’ve seen him around people before, but in Snape’s house and in the Ministry… I liked to see him deflate Roderick a bit though, nice to see that there’s someone able to do so. It sort of gives us the idea that Lugh is in a way more powerful than Voldemort, who maybe wasn’t exactly tricked by Rampton, but sure effected by his charms. Clever ways in which you tied back to Roderick’s animagus form; …of something that could easily see through whatever web he was weaving., and “I’ll spin them a line –”. That also goes for him calling Pettigrew ‘rodent’.
“No.” It was a small word for such a monumental decision. - such a strong line.
In the yard, I wasn’t really happy to see that “sullen rat”, it’s impossible to know if you put it there as a part of setting, or if a certain Death Eater decided to linger a little.
Concerning Maeve’s “new way to fly”, I must get back to the Chronicles of Cheysuli I’ve mentioned before. They’ve sort of got an animagi gift, where each warrior is connected to an animal, of which they can take on the shape. And when this shape-changing occur, the way the author has described it’s very much like Maeve’s experience of becoming the atoms. I like the idea of the gift, it’s convenient to say the least and I suspect you didn’t introduce it simply to transport Maeve to London. I’m also interested if Harry has got this ability, seeing as Lugh is also a ‘relative’ of his.
Nice with a little AU, in the way that I got to see Amelia Bones alive. I liked the bit: “Amelia leant forward on the walnut desk; eager for answers she could believe.” – to me it showed again her qualities as Minister of Magic, wanting the truth but not about to believe anything.
I can see why Maeve hesitated about going to Grimmauld Place, but I’m glad she decided to go. After Narcissa, I had been waiting for two more meetings for Maeve, one was Harry. I’m still waiting for their actual talk, and to see Harry again after a few more days. He is staying true to the Harry from DoL, but having fallen head over heel for the HBP Harry, I hope ‘yours’ is going to come to resemble him more as the story goes on.
“Oh, I wasn’t thinking of going back to Hogwarts at all,” she said, her insides going cold at the very thought of entering Dumbledore’s school. - This just reminded me so much of Harry in HBP. I’ll be interested to see whether any of them will return to the school in this sequel, or whether they’ll be busy chasing husbands, enemies and pieces of severed souls.
“Green gashes appraised her, ripping at her to get to the secrets she may have held.” - another one of those lines, reading it is like taking the first sip of a perfectly brewed cup of tea, simply enjoyable.
One think I picked up on, when Roderick spoke of Pettigrew, he said “ I can’t believe that stupid rodent sometimes,”, which was closely followed by “How stupid can a wizard get?” - the repetition of ‘stupid’ was not a grave one, but I’m sure it would be only too easy for you to come up with another word there.
So, I mentioned one meeting. The other is of course between Maeve and Severus, I can barely wait for it. As much as I want Maeve to throw her arms around him and for everything to be all right, I know how I will enjoy anything you are going to write. I just hope there won't be too many long before it happens in the story.
This chapter was quality through and through, like yours always are, and there is no way one could stop admiring you as a writer, Maeve.
I read most of this chapter with the feeling of being a fan fiction student. The way you’re weaving new canon into your own material here, it should go as a right textbook example somewhere. I very much enjoyed reading and learning from it, and kept going ‘She is so clever!’ to myself.
The Harry/Maeve conversation was all I wished for – the facts, the feelings, especially Harry was nice, with him being ‘security conscious’, upset about Dumbledore, determined but still young and rash (the note, silly boy, the note!). My heart cried for Maeve when she had to view his memory, but I’m so glad that it served to further convince her of Severus’ innocence. I can’t wait until we get to see Severus, with Dumbledore being his mentor and friend as well as Harry’s, he must feel... horrible. I can’t wait to see you take on his emotions.
During the last paragraph in the scene with Remus, towards the end, I was right back in that familiar place where I so badly want him to be more than he is at the moment. He’s just there, if only he could be a little useful. Poor Remus. (I think?)
During the conversation in that very scene, there was a sentence that bothered me a little:
“Not today, I’m waiting for Professor McGonagal to arrive with details of the funeral for Harry.” - firstly, there’s an ‘l’ missing at the end of ‘McGonagall’. And secondly, when I read it I sort of interpreted it as ‘the funeral for Harry’. When re-reading it’s very clear that’s not what you meant, but maybe it could have been something like: “Not today, I’m waiting for Professor McGonagall to come/arrive and give Harry the details of the funeral (for Dumbledore).” ?
Cliff-hanger! Like we needed that to stay permanently attached to your story! But I can’t deny it’s got me hanging on the end of my chair, eyes wide and just wondering. What does Narcissa Malfoy know, why is she so upset? It’s all so intriguing, worrying and dark. But the story still has a tone of light and hope, with the way things are flowing so nicely (and at the moment – quickly!), we get no time to sit around and despair.
I feel repetitive, but I can’t not mention your descriptions – they’re marvellous! It’s not that they’re long or overly detailed, but you seem to always be able to catch the important things, the setting of Malfoy manor being a perfect example. And oh, The crockery sat silently on the dresser, unused and unwanted, and the cutlery slumbered in drawers, waiting for the clamour of shared meals to wake them from their stupor. - wonderful.
*draws a deep breath and gets brain into review mode*
Let me jump straight to Darkacre. To begin with, I discovered an interesting reaction in my brain. On the one hand I was a little disappointed over how easy it was for Roderick to enter, because your writing has made me expect more of Severus. But on the other hand, if anyone was to figure it out at all, it would have been Roderick or Maeve. So, there, I shan’t linger on that.
Secondly, I’m finding it very difficult not to beg for a chaptered account of the love story of Vervain Snape and Stephen Gryps. And as I’m on that subject, I keep wanting to read more of Severus’ and Maeve’s time at Hogwarts together. =)
Look, I managed to keep my excitement in check until the third paragraph of the review. But OMGOSHNESS, Severus is the heir of Godric Gryffindor! *wears classical deer-before-headlights expression* Jan, I don’t think the turns of your storytelling will ever cease to surprise me. What can I say? It’s like you manage to take the usual clichés (Harry being the heir of Gryffindor, for example), twist them around a bit and turn them into something original and mind-boggling. I sure wonder what this will mean in the great scheme of things… There is bound to be a heir of Slytherin/heir of Gryffindor confrontation of some sort, no? And that really makes me wonder where the Harry/Maeve/Neville business will fit in… It tickles my mind, because I suspect that you’ve got something great planned. As so often with your writing, it’s like I can sense some of what might be coming, but I can never really grasp it. Yet when things do happen, they appear so familiar, right and logical.
It almost feels superfluous to praise your characterisation of, well, any HP character really, but I’m still going to compliment you on Harry in this chapter. It’s exactly the Harry I was wishing to see in this situation! The rage against everything to do with Severus, the words, tone and actions he meets Maeve with – it’s just right. Very canon of you too, to throw a little Harry/Ginny into the mix. And the tension at the end of the chapter! Evil Jan, just cutting it off like that when we come to the very scene I’ve been waiting so long for. You sure know how to keep your readers hooked. ;)
Moving back a bit, to Draco. My, my, he is in trouble! I wouldn’t have thought him quite so drastic though. Even if he didn’t know what Nagini actually was (if it was what we think), would he really have killed Voldemort’s precious pet snake? He couldn’t have thought very far… he must have just done it because he was angry with Nagini… *ponders* And I wonder what Roderick has in mind for him? Roderick, who insists on keeping me unsure, who I expect will have me wondering about him even when the story is over.
And Albert! Why, oh why, did he have to come down with cancer? Surely, cancer must be easily curable through magical means? Or am I to guess that his approaching end is important to the story? Well, he surely can’t go until he’s been of some use – to the wizarding world and to his grandson.
To round off, lol, I must express my amusement at the “lighter” sides of Voldemort you presented in this chapter. Yes, he’s still evilness itself, but his “I think the last occasion of anyone telling the time using such an antiquated method was in 1576.” and “Yes, surely you’ve heard of it: quite a large country just to the of France. Full of Germans, apparently.” actually made me smile. Oh, and what do you know, I didn’t notice it before I copied the quote, but there seems to be a “right” missing – “to the right of France”.
Amazing as always. I feel no urge whatsoever to go and pick up my copy of The Turn of the Screw, no, I’d much rather stay here and proceed further into the mysterious and masterly written windings of Harry Potter and the Severed Souls.
Oo-oooh, this is excellent!
Before I read HBP, and before I knew it would be so significant for your sequel, I sort of imagined a happy life between Maeve and Severus. Not calm or peaceful, since the war would still be going on, but happy anyway, with Severus coming over to the light side even more, fighting alongside Maeve towards what’s right.
Now, that wouldn’t have been dull, because everything else would have given the action, plus that I’m sure you would’ve had some wonderful wife/husband dynamics there anyway. But now! I admire you even more from the very beginning – lots of fanfiction authors in your position would probably have given up, but to you it seems to have been an opportunity. Aside with the dull life of marriage and happiness, off to the darker, adventurous times with no certainty. It was maybe not in the exact same way, but both you and JKR have put much more importance to Severus – I hope it pleases you.
Maeve was wonderful in this chapter, what else could I say about her? I must admit that when I first read the rather horrible happening in HBP, your Severus was gone from my mind and the first reaction was very much ‘DIE SNAPE, DIE!’. But after I calmed down a bit and started thinking rationally, my train of thoughts were surprisingly like the ones Maeve is sharing with Remus. Especially this bit: Severus has to kill someone he loved; the hate Harry saw was for himself, Roderick. - I thought just that of the ‘hatred and revulsion’ in his eyes – why would Dumbledore make Snape feel revulsion, if not for the reason we think?
So, Remus is back as well. Oh, brilliant that he still haven’t completely let go of his Maeve feelings, and excellent how he feels about himself for it. I haven’t gone back to read all of DoL yet (even though it’s tempting since you challenged us to find the changing), but I’ll be interested to see if Felicia returns… even if it’s not crucial to the plot.
Roderick, of course. I thought at first that it was all very lucky for you to have him in this position after HBP, then I thought you had maybe put him in that exact situation until after HBP, as a useful resource for your story. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.
I hated him for the way he spoke of Dumbledore, but at the same time I loved your skill of writing him – he hasn’t changed a bit, has he? I also liked him referring to Narcissa as a ‘blabbermouth’.
Narcissa. *pleasant anticipation* I’m so looking forward to the next chapter. I mean, after what I’ve understand you’re going to be semi-canon with Severed Souls, that would mean there’s indeed something big between Narcissa Malfoy and Severus Snape, that he has been hiding from his wife. Very exciting!
Now, I don’t often get a chance to pick up mistakes from your stories, simply because there usually aren’t any. But this time I noticed: “He drew his wand and whispered “Alohamora” at the gloomy entrance. - Unless the spell is slightly altered, it’s ‘AlohOmora’.
Thanks, Maeve, for being the amazing writer that you are, and for giving us the sequel so darn quickly! ;)
I’m afraid this review will be written from a character POV, rather than the happenings, so expect lots of quotes and little sense and order. And to be even more difficult, I’ll start from the end, with Remus.
Finally! What a treat, this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for! *very pleased* You start off the scene featuring Remus with what has been pretty typical for him: ‘Remus looked hopeful and Maeve hated not being able to tell him.’ At that point I thought that he would remain his ‘useless’ self. (Although I admit it was nice to see Maeve’s thought of him earlier on: ‘…and most of all she wanted to get back to Grimmauld Place, to Remus and to a night of companionable wine consummation with her best friend.’) But then, you start building up to this brilliant surprise: ‘“Where?” he asked, growing tired of being on the periphery of people’s plans.’ - and my feelings are suddenly mixed; part of me is screaming ‘If you’re tired of it, do something about it!’, whilst another part is patiently waiting for when he will. Not that much patience was needed, of course, since you soon had me cheering for: ‘“I will do what is right!” he lashed back. “I will do what is right under the circumstances. That is all I have ever tried to do. I did it for Dumbledore, I’ve done it for you… why should that change?”’. Remus, Remus dear! I feel safe in naïvely asking for more of this attitude from him, knowing that you would never pull him too far away from the silent, wise man he actually is.
You provided even more emotions from his part, and I relish it: ‘Remus couldn’t hide the feeling of hurt that made his face shrink back from her. He had thought she was the one person who would have faith in him to do what was right, to not be swayed by false opinion and hearsay.’ And, you wrapped everything up so nicely, chapter and Remus, ‘…sealing himself to her with a decisive air that left no room for protestation.’
Narcissa... I’m a little confused, because I can see so many similarities between her and Maeve, but no likeness. They’ve got several things in common, yet they’re completely different. You’re a master for playing them against each other, and in a way I feel thankful (well, even more thankful) towards Jo for bringing Mrs Malfoy into the spotlight, and into your creative mind.
I wonder about her attitude towards Colly the House-Elf... Is it because Narcissa likes Colly in particular, or is she generally kinder to House-Elves/servants than the rest of her family? Or maybe because she’s very lonely? I very much liked how you first came to compare Narcissa to the ‘martyr swan’, and then (via Mr O’Grady) a ‘quare in the head’ bull.’
‘She wanted so much to believe that her husband could protect her and he had abandoned her to a fate of the Dark Lord’s choosing.’ - I felt sorry for Narcissa here, maybe for the first time. At times she must have felt happy and privileged with her life, because even though we haven’t seen so much of it in canon, I believe that Lucius and the other Death Eaters must have gotten some benefits from working for Voldemort. But now that Lucius and Draco have failed, Narcissa is lonely, threatened and probably scared. And then there’s the question, how much does Lucius care for her? Is he a Death Eater of Bellatrix’ magnitude, who lives for her cause? Or did he see his work as a mission, which would one day be accomplished so he could return to a quieter ‘family life’? Amazing, I would never have thought of it on my own, what an interesting character Narcissa is.
During all of Narcissa’s conversations with Maeve, I kept wanting to read similar scenes that also had Severus in them. I really hope there will be a time when the three of them speak.
Roderick. Oh yes, he’s comic relief, and he always keeps up that tone, doesn’t he? But you still let us know that’s not the whole truth: ‘“I see, so, last chance rather than first choice. Story of my life.”’. I started to think about his relationship to Maeve. You have been very clear about Remus’ feelings for her, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Roderick is also harbouring some. He is, after all, also always there for her. For a moment there I even felt a little sorry for the double agent, but his character soon showed me this was not the way to feel about him, with the cheerful: ‘“Lovers my delightful arse!” he stepped forward and gave her a hug that fitted her well.’ - how Roderick was that? :) His humour, his all-knowing, his care for a friend. Of course, I hope what he’s saying is the truth…
Maeve. At the moment I feel that I know her fairly well, so it’s a bit of the same situation as with Harry in the ‘real’ books. So much is from her POV, that I don’t really think of her character, except when she says something particularly spectacular in conversation. She’s just there, constantly and naturally, I keep forgetting that the world we’re in was once built for Harry Potter – it could just as well have been originally created for the story of Maeve. I think you’re very skilled combining that very story with the canon one. But, that was old news, I think I’ve said it plenty of times before.
Something ever so odd happened when I read this chapter! I’ve got a picture in my mind of Maeve’s appearance, that I’m very happy with. But when she spoke to Narcissa: ‘“Can I see Draco’s room?” Maeve asked, ignoring the barb.’ and then searched his quarters, that picture somehow morphed into Sara Sidle (actress Jorja Fox) of the CSI television series. Fortunately it was just to do with the ‘investigation’, because as soon as Maeve was speaking to Colly again, she looked the same as ever. *relieved* Funny things your mind can do…
Maeve seemed very composed in this chapter, all things considered, but I’ll be interested to see how long that lasts… Surely, seeing her husband must bring some heavy emotions into the picture.
Very little on Severus. So… he had a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Mr Black? Why, that’s interesting… I sure hope we’ll get to know more about it, or to know if it was just a lie of Narcissa’s. I can’t really see why her father should feel the need for an agreement of any kind?
‘ What if, what if Severus was Draco’s father?’ - that question simply had to come up at some point. Well, if Roderick knew and was telling the truth, Severus shouldn’t really be. But who knows? Well, apart from you of course! ;)
Then just a few things I noticed:
‘…it must have been is close resemblance to Lucius, she decided…’ - an ‘h’ is missing at the beginning of ‘his’.
‘Why else would be visiting Malfoy Manor when there was no Lucius here? - I think there should be a ‘he’ before ‘be visiting’?
‘I hear old Lucius has finally come a cropper with the old Dark Lord.’ - there seems to be an ‘old’ too many in that sentence.
‘…watched the light brown eyes take on a fierce light she had not seen before…’ - ‘light’ is repeated in this line, but it didn’t disturb me much, since it’s such different usages of the word. Just thought I’d point it out.
So, you spotted the button in my signature? :) It’s of course for support, because this is a story I’ll applause at any opportunity, but it’s also for my own convenience, making it so much easier to access Severed Souls from the forums.
Now I’m very much looking forward to Chapter Five, but maybe even more to the ‘impatient six’ – that will be interesting... Thank you for another excellent chapter, and please pardon me for this disarray that was meant to be a review! ;)
Oh, the Malfoys are troublesome, aren’t they? First out, the little gitlet, being stupid enough to think that he has a better chance away from Severus. And, since Draco is truly missing in this chapter (I can barely restrain myself from going “yay!”…), the person I move onto is Severus. I feel tired and drained when I think of his situation, how he has to be constantly alert, how he has got to lie and conceal the truth. He’s an expert actor is in complete control of his mind, but I wish for a time where he could relax, where there would be no need to pretend. Yes, admittedly Severus did something horrible when he first joined Lord Voldemort, but I’m beginning to feel that he has paid for it and more.
My next Severus moment of the chapter is at the end of the fire conversation, ending with Maeve’s, “Well,” she said to no one in particular. “Thanks for that lovely message. I’m not worried about you now. No, not worried at all.” I react on Severus not giving her the tiniest ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’, which would have been a natural way for most characters to end such a conversation. But we know already that he does both of those things, and his worry is obvious. It seems more like he is not used to the phrases, he knows what they stand for but he has not yet come to the point where they can be spoken casually or even briefly. It is clear to me that he loves her, and I believe it’s just as clear to himself, but being the practical man he is it might not seem necessary to always include these words. Somehow this pleases me, because it means that they hold a greater value to Severus, that he has not reduced them to something simply replacing a ‘good-bye’. I’ve got no worries that Maeve might think he doesn’t love her because he doesn’t say so, because if I’ve got this figured out, then so should certainly she.
“When did you become such a mother hen?” Maeve croaked.’ - Roderick time, of course. Just as in the last chapter, I love to see that he is genuinely concerned about Maeve. Your words on Roderick always seem to glow in the text, little lines which are perhaps not that significant, but which lift the whole text. Such as: “I don’t want you ending up dead; what the hell would I do with old mother Malfoy then?” and ‘With a good deal of huffing and puffing he swished his cloak in Hermione’s face and left them to it.’
Actually, *giggles*, this chapter planted a very interesting thought in my head. Suddenly, the idea of Narcissa/Roderick seems rather appealing… Not that it’s in any way convenient, but I find it thoroughly tempting. Hmm… it seems like I’ve been around lovers of scandals and rare pairings too much.
Narcissa then, and her husband. Speaking of lovers of scandalous pairings, my first thought around Lucius’ death was how Jenna would forgive you for killing him off that way. But on a more serious note I’m sure is death was for the best, and I certainly like the way it affects Narcissa. I think she has shown already in canon that she is not a woman to sit around when she believes there is something she can do for her family. Severus’ comment, “Never underestimate the bond between a son and his mother,” he replied hurriedly.’ makes this (and other events, too) even more interesting. She leaves without a clear idea of what to do, and although she might be desperate I can also spot her natural courage, it’s something rather wolf-like, to protect the pack and the offspring. I just wish I could have seen every single thought that was buzzing in her mind…
The missing ruby business is the major mystery of this chapter, and I’m glad to see that there is always something to ponder and guess about, plot-wise, after each chapter. I’m very interested do know when and how this ruby went missing, and what it’s used for now…
The other thing is of course the Hogwarts cemetery. I’m hoping for a visit in the chapters to come, even if I’m not sure how much I think it matters to the story. It might just be Hermione’s brain (and my own) working on over-time, but who knows?
Look, wasn’t this a nice and short review? And you probably thought I had forgotten how to write them! ;)
Oooh, this chapter is a good one! Well, they all are, but this one is particularly welcoming for long reviews. And I had better write it for you now, since I’m once again two chapters behind on reviews. Shame on me!
I’ll be beginning with Remus and a quote: ‘Remus shook his head. “My time at Hogwarts is over, Harry, as is yours. We need to find our place in the world again.”’ - Harry is of course clueless, but I the double meaning shines so clearly to us readers. I can almost read the words as “My time dreaming of Maeve is over.” And while this is so sad it makes me want to keep hugging Remus until he feels better again, I love how you write him so composed. He knew this would happen eventually, and even if he’s disappointed he doesn’t seem dejected. I like to see how he gives advice to Harry, and I can fully understand his need to go away and deal with his feelings (at least temporary), even though he made the promise to Severus… In fact, the air around Remus here is spot on what I experienced at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. But that wasn’t the last we saw of Remus in the books, and I don’t think he will be gone for very long in Severed Souls either. At least I don’t hope so, since you’ve given me this unexplainable Remus fixation! *blames Jan*
I’ll squeeze in a bit of Roderick here, because I’ve come to enjoy his presence so much. He’s displaying such genuine concern for Maeve, my favourite examples being: ‘“Damn it all, Maeve, why did you have to be so stupid?”’ and ‘With a gentleness that would have surprised Maeve had she been conscious, he placed her carefully into her bed and left her to rest after her ordeal.’ Keep him going like this and I’ll soon have a major crush on him. ;)
Arthur! Isn’t he just adorable? I think this chapter held all necessary parts of him, from the fatherly man who is an important member of the Order, to the humorous man with his child-like fascination of everything Muggle. I like how he’s supporting Harry here, knowing fully well that neither him nor his own son really need an adult to back them up anymore, but he’s still offering to be a parent if any of them might need it. Arthur in the pub was a bit of comic relief, and very well-written. The whole pub scene made me miss England horribly, I think I shall have to go back soon.
I’ll mention Ron in the same paragraph, I think. I know you had a bit of trouble writing him into submission, but I think he’s behaving perfectly to suit the story here. He’s well in character, which is proved by me wanting to tape his mouth shut on several occasions.
‘A slight breeze gave him a gentle shove in the right direction and he stepped into the late summer sunshine, its light warming away the sudden chill.’ - I love this. It’s beautiful, and I can feel the gentle shove of the breeze and the warmth of the sun. Very Jan:ish in style!
Harry’s visit to his parents’ grave… As the scene moved on from the car stopped, Harry’s actions and emotions built up to something quite teary. But you hold back, you don’t give Harry the closure he might have hoped for, nor do you make him weep. No, all it leads to is more determination, just what we need. I think this shows a great deal bout your writing skill, as I believe many authors would have fallen for the opportunity to make this something over-emotional, but instead you make sure that the moment adds something to the plot. What did almost all SPEWers say makes a good fanfic? Balance between character and plot development. Well, here’s a fine example!
Albert is very interesting, and once again you have me missing my part of England. In the village where I lived, there was an old man who greatly resembled your description of Albert. Maybe this was why this character came to live so quickly in my mind, maybe it was that he fitted so well in with the picture you paint of Godric’s Hollow. In any case, via him you present a fairly unique view of the Potters’ life in this village. Most fanfics give us unlimited sunshine and happiness (apart from the threat of Voldemort, of course), but I find you idea of the lonely Lily much more appealing and believable.
I was a little surprised over the description of the Potter’s house. In my mind (possibly fanfic-influenced) I have always pictured it being located just outside a Muggle village, distant from their non-magical neighbours. Your version is more interesting and makes me wonder why they chose to live so close to Muggles? I’m under the impression that James and Lily had quite a bit of money in their vault, not Malfoy-like but still to have a fair number of options of where to settle down. I’m also curious about what could have kept James away from home so much. Did he have a “regular” wizard’s job, or was he working for the Order? I’m guessing he would have been around most of the time after they went into hiding, but naturally Albert Gryps wouldn’t have noticed that…
The key! Oooh, what is this going to add to the story? I somehow feel that it will be something more personal for Harry, and that it’s not connected to the Horcrux bit of the story. Having said that, it could still be something personal for him that is important for the final victory. In any case, I will be keeping my eyes open for suspicious locks…
That car is troublesome, but I enjoy the mystery it adds to the chapter. I must of course wonder if the person/persons in the car had Voldemort connections, or if it was someone else?
And then we’re off to Malfoy manor! As I have already mentioned to you (eh, I have really mentioned all of above as well, but never mind…) that I had to stop and think for a moment to figure out the subtle difference between this Draco and the canon one. Because there is a difference, as my re-reading of Harry’s Pensieve memory showed me. Firstly, when it comes to Draco’s reasons for joining the ranks of Voldemort: In Half-Blood Prince, I got the impression that Draco had become a Death Eater for three reasons; the fact that he probably had no choice, out of curiosity, and to live up to the name of Malfoy. But when reading that particular part of Chapter Three again, it seems to me that Draco joined the ranks of Death Eaters for his own purposes as well, more than to prove himself to his name. The next difference is how he feels about going back to Voldemort. Here he wants to do so, which I first thought seemed a little off, but that was because I was thinking of canon and not the Draco you have given us here. This young Malfoy does actually think he’s going to be given a second chance, that he’ll be able to do something to be forgiven. I’m very curious about how the Dark Lord is going to welcome him...
I thought the imagery of Draco destroying the family tapestry was very fitting, it somehow showed me the anger towards his family, and his father in particular. He was written well overall, whining and refusing to follow rules.
A very eventful chapter that left lots to think about… And I’m not going to apologise for the length of this review, you brought it upon yourself Jan! ;) Much looking forward to Chapter Eleven, and I hope I’ll be able to post my review for Ten over the weekend.
This little review has, believe it or not, nothing to do with either Sainsbury’s leaf tea or my own merciless conscience. No, it’s being written right now, and it will be posted, simply because the story deserves it. You don’t think I’d do anything for some Thornton’s, do you? *giggles* Well then, review it is:
I’ll be focusing on Draco of course, but I’ll begin with the mysterious man in the night:
“What do you think he’s going to do, Draco Malfoy? Do you think he’s going to congratulate you for making such a mess of killing Dumbledore? More like he’ll be ready to take your eejit head from your shoulders.” - these lines really gave me the creeps, I could feel the words affecting Draco, I could hear the tone of voice they were spoken in.
Onto Draco then. There is so much there, and all the things you blend lead up to the right character. Perhaps not the “perfect” character for everyone, as there are plenty of versions (and fans) of Draco out there, but the one and only Draco Malfoy I want to see in Severed Souls. You’ve given him a fire, built on the same flames that were presented to us in HBP. Because, when was Draco ever really excited over something in the books? Quidditch? No, not really. Rivalling with Harry? Well, perhaps a bit. But both of those things are really about proving himself, and his greatest opportunity to do so wasn’t introduced until HBP and the news of him as a newbie Death Eater (pardon the expression, but it felt fairly suitable…). We know that Slytherins can use all means possible to get what they want, but this also requires some hard work and determination, it takes passion - which we’re now shown in Draco. Excellent.
Yes, I’m continuing on Mr Malfoy. I would just like to state that from the way you write him, I do not see him as stupid or foolish. I think there is a clear mark of intelligence in the fact that he’s not just rushing into things, he is actually asking himself the right questions first – then it’s just sadly so that he gives himself the completely wrong answers, but only because they serve his own cause. He’s chosen the wrong path, oh yes, but not out of sheer stupidity. No one is that simple, especially not a Malfoy, and I think you clearly show us that there are more complex reasons behind his acting.
“I think another target could be found for you, if you really wanted to prove yourself. You see, I have long had a Malfoy working for me, and now that the older one is dead I think I can find it in my heart to offer the younger one a second chance.” - oooh, I can totally see this! Although Lucius became a bit difficult at the end of Daughter of Light, and although he’s always been slippery and put his own needs first, I’ve always imagined that he had qualities appreciated by the Dark Lord. Already after the re-birth in GoF, where they met before us for the first time, we got an idea that Lucius was pretty highly thought of by Voldemort – that is, compared to some other Death Eaters. Whether the monster man is actually telling the truth in wanting a Malfoy in his ranks, or if it’s just a way of playing with Draco, I can see him liking the type of the Malfoys. You know, a bit more sophisticated than Crabbe or Goyle, and a bit more sane than Bellatrix and Crouch JR. That also makes sense why Voldemort would be interested in Roderick – I suppose followers like him aren’t that easy to find? And, oh, before I move on – I think it’s über-creepy how you let Lord Voldemort refer to his heart.
“Now, you will kill Neville Longbottom for me.” - something else I find very, very interesting. Frankly, I don’t think that Draco will kill Neville. Hasn’t Neville still got a purpose? Yes. But then, what will happen to Draco, if he cannot (not due to his abilities, but because of the story) perform this task? Will he die? I don’t think so? Will he turn back to the “good guys”? Or, will someone else come in his way, someone who might be even better than Neville, someone that Voldemort would like to see dead? Someone who is not Harry… Interesting, very interesting.
A couple of words about two other characters. Firstly:
“Now why would you be wandering off?” it asked, and he turned to find a scrawny-looking man surveying him with a sliver of saliva escaping from the corner of his mouth.’ - please, give me a moment to go “Ewww!”. Jan, that was utterly, totally and completely disgusting! However, I really admire you for being able to write this at all, you create such an appalling imagine with sow few words. “Sliver of saliva…” *shudders*
‘Severus did not move an inch, keeping his muscles firmly under control.’ - I must say that I find Draco to be very composed for a man at his age, in his position. But this is nothing, nothing, compared to my mental image of Severus in the Dark Lord’s presence. He is just… Well, the control he keeps himself under, is (and so help me God, I never thought I’d write this) dead sexy. And seeing him like this, both connects to and completely contrasts to the next thing I’ll mention:
‘And, unusually, he reached for her first, pulling her into him with a need that was so apparent it made her heart ache for him. And as they fell together, entwined on the bed, she knew she had made absolutely the correct decision joining him.’ - two completely different versions of Severus, yet the same man. He’s got the ability to act so well, but I must say I prefer to read what’s happening to him back stage. What exists between Maeve and him are something to return to, a splash of vivid colour and warmth in the grey, cold world. Having them together is a perfect way for you, whenever you should feel like it or be in need of it, to give some sense of comfort, closeness and hope to your readers.
And, I can’t not mention my new favourite pairing, can I? Not when you give me such teasers, such excellent slices of it. Such as:
‘No one, that is, except the Rampton man. […] There had been genuine care there and something else.’ and:
‘There was no reason for her to see Rampton again, and he must have been twenty years her junior. But as she arrived in the dusty, disused hallway of Malfoy Manor she found she couldn’t quite get the man from her mind.’ - I don’t really know what I’m supposed to say here. Will it be sufficient if I *squee* very loudly and heave deep sighs of happiness? :)
I’ve got a few miscellaneous things I’d like to point out and discuss. First, two tiny things:
‘He extinguished his wand and looked up again, picking out the man’s outline against the branches. “And what do you want.” - shouldn’t there be a question mark at the very end?
“It’s not what he will do about it, it’s what I will do about it,” a new, deeper voice said’ – the full stop is missing at the end.
Then, concerning the term “meeting”. This is very likely just me, but if we look at those two examples:
‘Pettigrew had checked on him and told him the Dark Lord had meetings all morning and would see him just before lunch.’ - yes, I know, Voldemort might very well be seeing people, but when I read this, Pettigrew suddenly morphed into a blond secretary telling associates that her boss – the business man – would be in meetings all morning. *giggle* But, as I said, that’s probably just me interpreting the term in the wrong way.
‘She reached up to kiss him and realised that he looked even paler than usual. “Bad meeting?” - here it is again, that word doesn’t really seem suitable to me. I don’t know why, because I don’t think twice about an “Order meeting” or “D.A. meeting” – I never have. I suppose it is just not, in my eyes, connected to Voldemort. Here, Maeve and Severus are (in my twisted brain) brutally turned into Petunia and Vernon, and I can just see Maeve taking his briefcase… Yes, sillyness perhaps, but there is just something not right about it.
I’ve talked a lot about Draco already, and there is only really one thing I’m thinking about:
“Okay,” Draco said, his palms and forehead drenched in sweat. “I can do it. I will do it.” - the first “Okay” is a little out of place, for some reason. I do agree that Draco would probably use the word, but perhaps not here? As this is sort of his summing up and decision, I think I’d like to see something like “Yes, my Lord.” or whatever would be suitable.
And the last thing I’m thinking about is:
The impatient Pettigrew had hurried Draco along the corridors, wanting him out of the tunnels as quickly as possible so that he could get back to work. - impatient, yes, I can totally see that. But to go back to work? I would have thought it much more likely that Pettigrew wanted things out of the way so that he could be lazy? So, if he’s suddenly turned ambitious and hard-working, I’m wondering why? Is there something he wants? Is he on a mission to get closer to Voldemort, and therefore working harder? Or, has Voldemort suddenly put some more pressure on old Wormtail? Has he perhaps made it clear to him that do be a Death Eater, he has to make a little effort? :) Forgive me if I’m asking silly questions, but I generally see Peter as someone lazy, not like someone who would be impatient to get back to work…
*takes off her recently purchased pirate captain’s hat with a flourish and bows* Jan, it’s always a pleasure, and this chapter is no exception. And, review for the *gasp*-bringing Chapter Sixteen shall be along before you know it. ;)
(EDIT: Oooh, first review posted as a SPEWer, I can’t believe it!)
I won’t apologize for the increasing length of my reviews – what am I suppose to do when the chapters are so long, so amazingly filled with treats for us readers? No, I’m afraid that as long as there’s so much to comment on, the reviews will remain exhausting. Let’s see how short I can keep this one, shall we? :)
I’ll start right off with a Remus quote: ‘Sometimes I am glad I’m not married to you.’ - when he said it, I just read it the complete opposite way, like ‘But the rest of the time, it breaks my heart that I’m not.’
As for your descriptions of scenery and setting in this chapter, I was struck by the thought that you could write the most fantastic travel books ever. I so badly want to go and visit all the places you’ve described (maybe not Spinner’s End, but…), and I bet other people would do as well. But don’t worry, I’m not suggesting it, I wouldn’t have anything stealing time from Severed Souls or original novels of yours, but you could most definitely do it.
Poor Remus. Firstly, the Malcolm bit. ‘“Yes, I can imagine you would, but then you’re called Malcolm. Come!”’ - *snort*. I would be hopeless on a mission like that, because I would only feel so bad for Remus, that I would step up and say, ‘No, he’s not called Malcolm, you silly woman!’.
And then it get seven worse: ‘And Remus had to accept the fact that in order to get a few decent hours’ sleep he would have to lie on a bed next to Maeve and attempt to sleep. He wasn’t convinced it would be that easy with the smell of her hair just a few inches from his nose, but he resolved to try.’ The already fragile Remus-part of my heart simply shatters. I feel SO SORRY for him. It’s absolutely not that I think Maeve should choose him instead, that’s not even a possibility, but my insides still ache for him. I liked the thoughts of his time in France with Felicia, how her presence made him feel old. It’s very true. Attraction is never enough, nor is the fact that it would be ‘suitable’. There has to be a connection, like Remus has with Maeve. With only the tiny problem that she’s got an even stronger one with Severus.
How many authors introduce such a fitting female characters, and then does not use her as a salvation? Well, I haven’t seen one. It’s always that unexpected, somehow perfect girl appearing at the right time, saving the male character. But that’s not how the world works. I don’t know if you had originally intended to put Felicia and Remus together, but I’m glad you didn’t. Not because I like to see him suffer, but because the detail makes the story even more real.
But there is not just a werewolf to feel sorry for, there is one that made me cheer loudly as well: ‘Still, it was better than chasing a pack of werewolves around France.’ - Yay! For the brave, mighty and independent man! Remus was never useless like I accused him of being, (well, he was at some points), but admirable and strong. *is falling in love with Remus*
I’ll jump to Harry and McGonagall at Hogwarts. I was on the verge of tears when they were in the office, looking at Dumbledore’s portrait. But that wasn’t particularly what struck me. It’s a fact that I’m a very emotional person, I can’t read obituary notes without crying and I regularly need tissues when I watch films. But Daughter of Light or Severed Souls have actually never had me crying, I realised. I pondered on it, and realised that it was because none of my favourite characters (apart from Dumbledore, and I kind of saw that coming) has been killed off. This frightens me to no end, because I don’t want to think about what that you’ve got in store for ‘Final Battle’ time. Don’t you dare kill Severus, Harry or Remus! I feel quite confident that Maeve will survive, don’t ask me why, but please leave my fav men alive! We could take… Ron, perhaps? instead. I’d cry for him too, but I could live with it.
And so, I’ve rambled my way up to the long-awaited reunion of husband and wife. *sigh* Maybe it was obvious, but I was still a bit pleased with myself for foreseeing the non-composed (I was about to write ‘decomposed’ for a second) Maeve.
The whole scene was just terrific! It left nothing to ask for. And the embrace… *sigh* I was pleasantly surprised to discover you writing such a similar thing between Remus and Severus, that they’re both so unhappy with Maeve’s mistrust in them. I’m so glad that the conversation turned almost instantly to the question of Severus’ fidelity. Maeve might have pretended that it didn’t disturb her so much, but it was clear that it did. I try to picture myself in the situation, and I know that’s what would pop up at once, even if I had the best intentions of not mentioning it. Jealousy is such a complex emotion, and you use it so well in the story; Remus is jealous of Severus for having Maeve, Harry was jealous of the attention Severus gets, and Maeve is not above this, she’s insecure enough to be jealous of Narcissa.
I like the fact that we have come to a point in the story where we are allowed to see more human emotions from Severus’ side. I think the timing is great, Snape and emotions are difficult things to combine and you are probably the one person who does it best, and certainly the person who does it to the greatest extent. When I sit and ponder on the phenomenon, it’s amazing really how you manage it, it’s like you’re building this thing which I would expect to be a rickety card house ready to collapse any second, but instead you manage a rock steady brick house of Severus.
‘Perhaps the woman at his side was part of the reason for this escalating discontent; perhaps he was just growing more conscious of time running through his life-stained fingers in a steady spill of wasted years.’ - *breathless* That was perfect, there’s no other word for it.
As for Draco, his appearance made me think more of your writing skill than anything else. It’s like little knots you’re tying, and they all fit together. You weave a complex pattern, where nothing ever happens without reason, or even just for one reason. Maeve has helped protect Narcissa, and now it serves as a perfect argument why Draco should, if not trust her, then at least accept her presence. (I’ve read Sins of the Father, so at the moment all mentions of Draco makes me shudder.)
I found only one thing to annoy you about: ‘The front door of 15a was much prettier than the door of its companion below, tiny pink roses coiled around the frame and the number was stencilled in cerise on the cream paint. Tiny crystals swung in the breeze, tinkling gently at their arrival.’ - I might be turning into a repetition nazi here, but I’m under the impression that you want me to point them out. So, maybe it would be a good idea to change one of the ‘tiny’s?
*looking at review above* Well, that wasn’t too long, was it? :) And now I’m both in love with Remus, and even more fond of the Severus/Maeve relationship. I’m looking forward to Chapter Six like a child just before Christmas, and I’m overly excited about just how I’m going to get to read it. Thank for another wonderful chapter, Jan! (I’m very proud to be calling you by proper first name, btw.)
Oh, this one starts off so magnificently! I have really come to like these ventures into Voldemort’s mind, where you explore his way of thinking and the terrifying combination of insanity and clear logic. There is also the odd need for acceptance: ‘It gave him a feeling of certainty in an ever-changing world to be exposed to such deference.’, as well as the worry: ‘Voldemort would never admit to being worried about Potter, but worried he was.’
His thoughts around Severus affect and worry me a lot, as does the final words about Maeve. Voldemort doesn’t hide anything, he tells Severus exactly what might happen, and it’s a horrible, direct threat that shows me that this maniac is fully aware of the power he’s got. I think it was affected by Severus’ ‘His head ached from the secrets he kept and he wished with all his soul that the twisted wizard he had left standing by the roaring fire could be consumed by the flames he stoked.’ - but in any case, my personal hate and anger towards Voldemort is stronger than ever.
I’m going to pick up on the detail of someone unknown trying to claim Darkacre. It’s almost mentioned in passing, as a reason for Maeve to seek out Roderick, which almost made me forget about it. But because of this rather brief mentioning I’m all the more curious… Could it possibly have something to do with someone who was visiting a certain wedding? In any case, I’ve got quite a few little details like that to keep hold of at the moment, and I know I’m certain to forget them all well in time for when you will reveal their secrets and make me go “Oooh, I never saw that coming!” ;)
Neville is interesting in this chapter, and I wonder exactly what you’ve got planned for him? We get his basic idea of course, but I wonder what response he will finally get when he talks it over with an adult? Or, if he keeps seeking advice but can’t find it, will he have courage enough to act on his own?
Roderick… Hehe. Well, his first appearance stole some laughter from me, with lines like:
“Thought I might teach the first years how to undo one and forgot the blasted words.”
“Hmm… I was going to buy you a set of matching robes for Christmas but I won’t bother now, ungrateful wretch.”
“You sound like a little wife. Do I get a kiss on the cheek?”
- not a little cheeky, is he! But by Merlin, I can’t help loving him.
The secret meeting at Rathgael is (after some more time to think about it) possibly my favourite part of the chapter, although if I really had to pick it would be as hard as ever. I like to see how the connection between these two men is slowly changing. Yes, they are still very different, but I see ever so faint traces of respect for the other in both of them. Severus is showing it by asking Remus for important assistance, Remus displays it by agreeing to do it and to do his best, and actually trusting Severus. We know that Remus was deeply affected by the scene in the Shrieking Shack, so I’m assuming that this is one of the results we’ll be seeing from that. He still quite can’t understand Severus’ situation though, and he is also questioning him: “Will your dedication to your cause extend to harming your wife directly?” I find myself feeling with Severus, as so surprisingly often these days, and you write the perfect sentence to let both the character and I react: ‘Frustration borne of the inability to protect the one thing Severus loved drove him to pick up the nearest thing, which happened to be a small white vase, and throw it across the room, passing through the place where Remus had recently stood.’
I hope you don’t mind me quoting a lot, because it seems to be the right thing to do at the moment. I’ve got two particular favourite parts in the next few paragraphs, namely:
Her name, spoken so firmly, was a well-worn and familiar cloak that crept gently across her shoulders
“Remus.” She accepted the cloak with a turn of her head, and a warm acknowledgment of his presence.’
- the liking of the cloak, reminding me of the garment Maeve gave to Remus in DoL, is wonderful. It sort of describes the relationship between the two, at least how I would like it to be and how it is for Maeve’s part. And then, the other part:
‘So much beauty surrounded her, so much which was natural and wholesome. Why did the touch of humankind have to intrude with its devious plans and intolerable cruelty?’ - if you want a “real” reason for quoting this, I can tell you that the words completely matches my idea of Maeve, and also that it’s real, it’s one of those random thought that could pop up in any of our minds. But, my actual reason for putting it in the review is because I think the words are beautiful.
And off to the pub we go. Discussing Harry is of course always interesting, especially in such a tricky situation, but it gets much more intriguing when Roderick arrives with his lady-friend. And just who might it be? Well, I’d like to put my galleons (oh, all right then, Swedish crowns…) on Narcissa, but at the same time I must wonder why on earth Roderick would bring her to Hogsmeade when his task was to keep her hidden? It’s just that… I can’t think of who else it could be?
And then it gets scary! Powerful magic, you don’t say! I was so relieved to see our precious characters unharmed, but soon distracted by the arrival of Albert Gryps and the idea that the Death Eaters “got what they came for” – if Narcissa was indeed with Roderick, perhaps it was her they were after? And Roderick would of course also be interesting to them…
And now I’m supposed to tell you all of my theories and opinions on Albert, am I not? *grins* Actually, I do have an idea of it, but that doesn’t mean I can grasp the meaning him. I’m dead curious about what he will bring, and I want that conversation in the castle now!
*gasps* Wait a second - does this mean - *double-checks*… Jan, I’m up to date with the reviews! ;) In the middle of Grammar revising and all! Well then, your move next, my brilliant author and friend. I’ll just sit here and dream of next chapter while working my way through adverbials, non-restrictive relative clauses and auxiliary verbs… *deep sigh*