Now then, Jenna, what did we say about writing ‘all-feel-good’ chapters? :) All right, this is not one, but the parts that fill me right up with joy are so dominant that it gets very close. It has brightened my day considerably – all three times I’ve read it.
You surprise me with the beginning, I expected the conversation between Harry and Remus to be over, I thought everything had been said for now. But no, you left the possibly most important parts for this chapter, for one telling us when Harry will be expecting to go and see Pettigrew. With the last paragraph, you put another crucial part to Harry’s building determination – this is actually quite remarkable, how you’re collecting happenings, memories and feelings that will, combined, lead up to the moment when Harry will be ready, when there will be no return.
I was very taken with this: ‘“I suppose the Order’s already thought about that, then?” Harry said, more hopeless than derisive. “You’ve all had a little chat and have decided my parents’ house isn’t safe… because you knew, eventually, I would ask.” - These words on their own could have been taken straight from the OotP time. But they’re not spoken with anger, but by a man who has understood and accepted why such things happen, even if he doesn’t necessarily approve of it. Still, by using such words, you remind us that Canon Harry is still very much the base of the evolved person we read in your story.
‘He spent one afternoon laying in the sitting room with Katie in his arm’s while they watched Bill with his ear pressed to Fleur’s stomach as he listened for sounds of the new life growing within her.’ - This must be one of the most peaceful moments you have described throughout the story. Apart from the obvious beauty of the words, you’re also communicating a still silence, a momentarily contentment. For some reason my mind painted an unusually clear picture of this scene in my mind, I saw the furniture in the sitting room, Katie and Harry cuddled up together, I saw the dull December light coming through the windows, and the love between Bill and Fleur. Needless to say, I adored it.
‘“Well, it’s convenient. We can visit Hermione, and I can murder Siobhan in just one trip…”’ - I’m mostly quoting this because I found it very funny. What I really wanted to do was mention something about Katie. I see that I most often tend comment on her relationship with Harry, and all that he pours into it. But something really struck me about Katie herself in this chapter. Now and then when I read, original works or fanfiction, I’ll notice when a character displays the typical traits of their house. And in this chapter, Katie just came out as such a Gryffindor. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was, since all of what you wrote of her was part of it. Anyway, what I mean to say is – well done!
Charlie and Libby, is it? *squee!*
And here it begins. It all starts gathering as Siobhan speaks of Harry’s and Katie’s relationship. It struck me that in a way, Siobhan’s honesty is not that far from Luna’s, even if they are completely different and Siobhan doesn’t normally make people feel awkward with her truths. It continues after the return to Grimmauld Place, where everything is just right in place. I know no other way to describe it, but dialogue, emotions, actions, reactions – everything was, to me, perfect. Certainly, there was enough joy to leave me smiling for an hour, but there’s nothing cheesy about it. It’s not the simple entertainment of a one-shot, this is a reward coming to characters that have been through a lot, and have darker times yet to come. It’s not fluffy – it’s a well-deserved moment of happiness.
I only found one thing to bug you about:
‘“Hey Siobhan,” said as warmly as possible, given how uncomfortable he felt.’ - you need a ‘Harry’ in this sentence, I think.
In no way do I expect things to stay like this, but I much appreciated the moment of bliss, and I’m very curious of what unfortunate happening you will write to counter it.
(Just re-read the chapter - obsessive, as I've already told you) Hang on! Wait! Grrr, I feel just like Harry in PS when he can't remember Flamel. I KNOW I've read the name 'Julia White' somewhere in connection with your stories, but I CAN'T think of where! It's very frustrating and I don't like it! I'm going to have to re-read e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g now! /Fantasium, muttering
Author's Response: Julia White is the penname of my friend and *loyal* fan on ff.net. Hehe, don't stress out!
Author's Response: Oh, and read her story, too! I make a guest appearance... see if you can spot me ;)
Ok, I know I posted a review already, but now I re-read the first chapter so I thought it would be alright for me to review again... I would just like to quote the absolutely best part of it:
"“If Ginny were here, she’d want you to relax and be happy,” he said calmly. “And she’d tell you to stop being a bloody idiot and calm down…” he added with a sad grin."
I can't get over it and today I AM crying - you're a horrible person for killing Ginny, but you're also a wonderful person for picturing sadness so truthfully and touching. /Fantasium, again
Author's Response: I'm so sorry for killing Ginny :(, but I'm still very grateful for your wonderful feedback. I'm glad you liked that line, it was very important to me in conveying everyone's feelings.
I never realised, until too late maybe, that Ginny was one of my favourite characters. I had been waiting for this chapter and I really enjoyed it (how could I not have?) but it was all overshadowed by the absence of Ginny. I keep coming back to chapter one, how it was heartbreaking in a way I wouldn't say is too typical for your story. All the right emotions are always there, of course, but to me it's the... well, action really, and the amazing plotline that distinguishes your story. Maybe that's why it really matters when you remind us that she is really gone. You don't waste too much time describing how Harry feels - you make me feel it instead. Moving on, I'm not sure I like the journals too much, they may be as nicely green (my favourite colour) as they want, but why did they 'accidently' fall in front of Harry? And how knows there isn't a third journal connected? And who is sitting, right now, watching over its pages? I don't think the chapter was too short, but it certainly lacked some Siobhan! ;) Personally, I hope Harry takes her to the ball, the old Gryffindor/Slytherin cauldron needs some stirring. And I'm also quite confident about Harry and Katie, somehow I can't see you breaking them up for any reason. /Fantasium with Faith
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your, once again, amazing review. Your praise always leaves a mark, I'm so glad you can feel Harry's emotion - it is something I strive for.
The journals 'fell', because that is the magic of the Virgos' store - what you are looking for will reveal itself to you ;) ... As for if there's more to the journals, they will obviously play an important role at least once, but that's all I shall say.
Yes, Siobhan was rather absent; but this was a day for Harry and Katie - she's saving up some energy for the next round of chapters ;) As for Harry & Katie, I won't dare say what will happen with them. Not in public anyway *wink*...
See, I always do catch up in the end. =) Let’s see if I can dig out some of those thoughts I had on chapter thirty-eight.
I’m starting with the only little error I found:
“The solution is not leaving, Katie. You do want tofix this, right?’
There is a blank space missing between “to” and “fix”, and there should be an end-quotation mark at the end.
Your Harry Potter is very rarely a prick (okay, perhaps he is not really one here, but it’s close enough for me to be tempted to call him that), and his words to Katie almost make the Captain of Eternity want to walk off her own plank. However, I suppose he should get at least a little bit of credit for being clever enough to leave Siobhan’s home. Even if he doesn’t know how to fix things, at least he doesn’t make them worse by staying.
Actually, I find it interesting that you plotted in some romance problems at this point, and thereby delayed the “final battle” even further. Harry might think that such problems should be the least of his worries, but I like how you prove to us how much love matters by making Harry unable to make the final move when his relationship with Katie isn’t in order. And you do it again, of course; I can’t stay upset with Harry when he’s feeling so bad, and when he finally realises he hasn’t even tried to mend things, he’s back in my good books again and I’m rooting for him again.
“I’m having a good time,” she admitted quietly. “I’d like to stay.”
*dies* A good time? Oh, I should darn well think so! But, to be a bit less jealous and a bit more serious, I like how subtle you’ve been about the Liam/Hermione interaction. It’s a relationship (or something) that deserves plenty of attention, but giving more details than you have done here might perhaps distract your readers from other things we should be focusing on.
Hermione’s brown eyes flickered to Ron.
“Because that’s what I would do.”
Right, Miss Jenna, I don’t really know what to say about that. In a way it’s so nice on its own, just sitting there and telling me that there is still something called Ron/Hermione, even if it may never come to life again. Not knowing means still hoping, and I’m not sure that I’m wishing for some kind of reunion before the end of Blood Debt. Yes, I would like to see this resolved (which does not necessarily equal getting back together, but perhaps some Hermione- or Ron-p.o.v. thoughts/conversation on it), but I think I’m longing to see that in a one-shot or perhaps something short-chaptered.
Excellent language and flow, dear, as usual. Even a short, “transitional” chapter like this is a pleasure to read, because I know that it’s leading to things yet greater, and I always enjoy your words.
I’m so glad you’ve been holding on to Harry’s doubt on Dumbledore for so long. I’m in the middle of re-reading OotP for the zillionth time, and thoroughly annoyed with the Headmaster. Lots of writers make Harry completely ‘forgive’ him early on in sixth year, but nope, that wouldn’t be likely after what he actually did in OotP, was it for good reasons or not.
How typical for Snape to just throw Harry out of the office. *shakes head*
Nice Ron, and his words around being controlled and nagged on. However, I’d like to think of Hermione as being a loving person, enough to make up for at least some of her, eh, bossy behaviour. But maybe Ron isn’t in a position to receive that at the moment?
Answers and explanations. I can tell you’ve thought all of this through, hence it all makes a rather terrifying sense. I can’t but admire you for how deep and accurate everything is coming to the reader, and at how many times you subtly tie back to canon to improve the theories. Excellent choice of way you’ve made, that it is indeed Harry’s wand that will win (or could win, I suppose), so many other seem to think that since the two wands locked upon connection of spells, they will not work against each other at all. The two wands of Fawkes fighting against each other, one trying to overcome the phoenix magic (which is by the way just so clever, concerning re-birth) leading to near immortality. Wow.
And Ginny. Ginny, who evolved from the insecure and nervous child, into something confident and rather cool, only to be stolen. I still feel a silent rage around it, the hatred towards Voldemort and his pack is suddenly much more personal than ever before. Still, I must thank you. Why? Because, even though I’ve carefully read the very logical explanation to why she could be canonly lost, she is still alive and I shall enjoy reading every scene of her in HBP much more than if you had not let go of her. My thoughts go back to Sirius, how he appealed to me from the very first time I heard of him in PS/SS, and how much I actually loved his character before he died (well, I still do, of course). Ginny, also there from the very first book, has taken her time to grow and I have not appreciated her like I maybe should have. Now, if Jo should make the same decision about Ginny as yourself, I will have had the opportunity to be grateful for her, before it happens – only thanks to you.
I'll be difficult now, trying to review two chapters at once.
I just wonder who Alianna Will is? It wouldn't be like you to make up a relative for Harry, or anything like that, so maybe it's just a coincidence? But then, you (like Jo) don't really do coincidences like "striking green eyes", so... Connor was sorted without much doubt, very different from his brother. I still haven't made up my mind what I think of Seamus - and I really wonder what took the Hat so long to sort him? I don't think that Seamus has ever proved to be especially clever or loyal? Well, nevermind (my reviews must be horrible).
Good to see that Snape is his slimy, unfair old self. Siobhan is interesting, and IRISH *grinning*, it's going to be very interesting to see what you're planning with her. As for Ron, lots of people try to transform him in to something else in their fanfics, but without real reason - you do it with a reason, and so well. And Harry's reaction in DADA... I'm doing that too. Sometimes, the words pop up in my head, "“If Ginny were here, she’d want you to relax and be happy,” - “And she’d tell you to stop being a bloody idiot and calm down…” he added with a sad grin.", and my eyes will fill with tears. Your story is fantastic, all in all, but it's your gift to write and communicate feelings that I admire most.
I'm afraid I haven't got anything to criticize, no improvements to suggest or spelling/grammar mistakes to pick up on, I'm just a humble, obsessed fan starving for next chapter (even though I'm enjoying your other stuff on 'That Other Site That Must Not Be Named' at the moment - loved the sonnet!). The day you publish your own original work, I'll be the chairman of your obsessive fanclub - and that's a promise. /Fantasium
Author's Response: oh thank you so much, what a long review! ;) You can look forward to quite a bit with Siobhan, and Ronald will have *plenty* of storyline this time around. I'm glad you're enjoying this story so much, and I'm so proud to half an obsessive fan!
I love this story. I always will.
And I love you. *hug*
A small something: http://fantasium.se/Banners/EternitysVow_01.jpg
Perfect, just what I needed for my breakfast at the pc! :) (Or should I say lunch?)
Anyway, I don't like it. First the cut that won't escape from my mind, now his leg injury. I'm worried. The mysteries surrounding Ron's dreams, they've got me more impatient than worried, even if he's going to attempt further "looks" into it. I feel a little stupid concerning the dreams - it feels like I should've picked up on clues throughout the chapters, but on the contrary I feel completely clueless and want answers NOW!
A couple of tiny things from the text, the sentence "If that were the case, we wouldn't have much of a problem, now would we? needs a finishing quotation mark. Further on, when Ron says I won't do it if you tell me not, too., I'm not sure if you meant to say "not to."?
Siobhan is fascinating, I so badly want her not to be a bad guy - but I'm certainly not counting on it. I don't like her interest in Katie, as I've said before.
Finally, back to the beginning and the very interesting a/n. I vaguely remember the two lies and one truth (or if it was the other way around?), at the same time as I haven't forgotten about the H/K things that should not be mentioned "in public"... So now I'm just waiting, bemused and confused, for more. And oh, of course, Happy Birthday! again! :)
All right, here goes! (Finally more than 5 minutes at the pc!)
Firstly, something I should have written before, but I came to think about it in this chapter – compliments on Hagrid’s dialogue! After reading so much fanfiction, it has sort of become my pet peeve, I can’t stand when it’s not convincing. But your Hagrid always is. As we’re on to the subject, thumbs up for all the conversations in this chapters. I don’t like the arguing between Ron and Hermione, naturally, but if it gives you the opportunity to play them against each other like this – then so be it. :)
You give answers, but they only generate more questions. Looking past the ones concerning Voldemort in the last chapter, now we know that Snape has a big reason indeed to hate Harry like he does, apart from the James issue, that is. But when was this prophecy made? Before Harry started at Hogwarts, or during his years at school? When did this add to the malicious feelings Snape already had against him? And, who made this prophecy? When Harry said Snape had ‘witnessed’ it, was it from a Pensieve like himself, or from the person actually prophesising? *scratches head*
Snape – lovely in character. He can no longer escape the fact that Harry is growing stronger, even if he still tries. :) The way Harry have come to predict his ranting and use the worn words to get what he wants, it’s showing his maturity in a very nice way. Also, I think you’re on the absolutely right track here, we all know from canon that Harry is the one to do the final job, but I don’t think he’s going to be alone in being forced to something inevitable.
I’m very much trying not to glance over at a certain phiction_vault for chapters 19 & 20, but *sigh*, it’s not easy. Especially, with answers being promised ‘right around the corner’.
I hope you’re well, and that your day is precisely the sort of day you prefer for writing. ;) *offers a homemade choc chip cookie* /Anna
Oooh, very clever indeed! :) It's true that we never knew what Harry's parents did for a living, and even if I don't think it's very likely that James Potter was a teacher the story doesn't tell us that he wasn't! I do hope that Hermione stands up for herself and goes for the Unspeakable path, that's actually what I always imagined for her. There was a tiny mistake in the very beginning of the chapter: "Well, his wife was murdered at by Death Eaters…", the "at" was a little out of place. Other than that, wonderful as ever.
:) I think I saw that (HB & HG) coming actually, but it's nice nonetheless. Oh, just one thing, I think its one too many "shining" in this sentence: "– and out fell a shining badge with ‘HB’ engraved in shining gold letters." - being pedantic I know, but your story is otherwise perfect so I thought I'd point it out.
Now I'm very curious about what Katie and Harry are going to talk about, I hope to see next chapter soon! Thanks for writing your amazing story!
Author's Response: hmmm, I didn't notice that. which is odd, cause it's one of my favorite lines in the entire chapter. I kind of feel the silence of disbelief, and then :clunk:: YAY! hehe, anyway... thanks for the pointer and the compliments, as always ;)
Ha-haa, the obsessive one is first to review! :) No, honestly, I'll try to keep it nice and short and let you get on with writing (and all other things I'm sure take up your time). I loved the brother/sister closeness of Harry and Hermione, it was beautifully written. I made my "au pair-parents" stare when I let out odd noises, reading: "“He’s across the table, and he’s not my boyfriend,” Hermione replied simply.". And the out of control stunners didn't make that thing better. I think that's about it... oh, no, there was one little thing, there seemed to be a few blank spaces missing in here: "...it’s something Ron and Hermione and theotherswon’t be able to attempt for a while...". Nice as ever, and I'm still curious about Siobhan... I sense great things are coming this way (doing a very bad Trelawney impression). Cheers, /Fantasium
Author's Response: Thanks so much, hon! I love the Harry/Hermione dynamic so much, I try to write a lot of it into my stories. And the spacing problem, I think that was an issue with the site, but I'll be more careful from now on. Siobhan is fun :) I do have great stuff coming from her. And isn't a bad Trelawney impression mean actually good predictions? hehe.
When sitting down to write this review, I realise that I have consciously been putting it off. Yes, with many of my other reviews I’ve been procrastinating or simply been lazy. This time I have just avoided it, knowing there would be something so final about writing and submitting this – epilogue or not. But I guess I can’t avoid it forever. We’ve come to the end of Blood Debt, and here is my unworthy review for it.
I have a lot of lines copied and pasted beneath what I’m now writing in this Word document, but before I start dealing with them I need to say something more general. I’ve read this a few times now, and cried every single time. Perhaps that is partly because this is the end, but I know that it’s mostly because of how you write Harry. Yes, yes, I know that I’m just repeating myself when I say that no one writes him better than you – but it’s true. You have such a perfect understanding for how he works, what he thinks and feels and how he reacts. I would not have cried for a person who was even insignificantly out of character, but for this Harry, for his feelings, I weep repeatedly. It’s all so real.
There, now I’m going to get on with reviewing.
I can’t believe that I didn’t guess that this was the purpose of Clarimonde. If I hadn’t been so busy with enjoying the beginning of the chapter, I’m sure I would have felt very daft. As it was, I was spellbound from the first line and didn’t bother with any other feelings than the ones your writing led me to.
His parents’ home. His own home.
In the books, and in many other fanfics, we often see how Harry refers to Hogwarts as his home, or even the Burrow. Yes, he becomes the owner of Grimmauld Place, but it’s still not his home. All of those years he’s really been homeless, always living in someone else’s place. This is his own home, the place where he should have grown up, the place he should have returned to on his holidays, and this short line gave me a sharp glimpse of what his life could have been like. Harry’s parents have been so close in the past chapters, and here, ‘at the end of all things’, they are more present than ever.
Harry stood up, tall and ready, his wand drawn.
I don’t know why, but this was what gave me the strongest mental illustration in the whole chapter. I think that by carefully describing the surroundings before this point, you now let me focus entirely on Harry. I can see him, see the motion as he stands up, see his posture and his readiness. It’s a powerful picture.
Everything led up to this.
*shiver* You are really making the most of these short sentences here. If not placed right, something like this sentence could just have been lost in the flow of the text, but here it’s really prominent, so full of suspense and with a taste of fate and destiny.
Oh, and the battle part… I already knew you’re gifted at writing action scenes, and the action here is just as wonderful as I had expected. But I’m more impressed with how you kept it fairly short and made dialogue more important than spell casting. And, ooh, when Harry broke the wand:
Something indescribable fluttered through him, and he looked back at Voldemort, who was staring in disbelief.
There is so much in that ‘indescribable’ something… Something to do with the connection between Harry or Voldemort, something… I’m not sure. But I’m glad you included that, because whatever lies in it, I can feel how significant it is.
At some points in Blood Debt, you’ve written Harry in such a way that I’ve been annoyed with him, sometimes while feeling sorry for him at the same time. Here, when he starts doubting the Prophecy, I’m not blaming him or shouting out that he is silly and must be wrong, but I’m doubting too, because you make me doubt, and even though I know you’re not going to kill Harry I still share a moment of nausea.
And upon his death, Katie would know everything that happened between Harry and Voldemort.
*nods* I know that others are mentioned in a bit, but here, he only cares that Katie will know. While he obviously thinks it’s important that the whole world finds out, it’s Katie who’s on his mind. *deep sigh* Yes, this is a teary moment, even as I write the review. Harry really thinks he’s going to die, and even though I know he isn’t, his fear still brings tears to my eyes. Wonderful, brave, loving Harry.
I was going to quote the entire end of the scene here, but thought that might be a bit unnecessary. But it’s just… perfect. How you included everything Harry has been through, Ron and Hermione, and lastly, his Katie, and how he looks at Voldemort… Gah, you couldn’t have used the Prophecy better.
Then, >.>, when Clarimonde nudges Harry, you make me think of Brego and Aragorn, and that only makes me love it even more.
“His portrait. It’s been smiling at us mysteriously all morning.”
Oh, here I cry as well. Each time. The Remus I see here is as far from Thewlis’ silly portrayal as it comes, it’s simply canon Remus. I feel how much he must be hurting because Dumbledore is gone, how tired he is, and how endlessly proud he must be of Harry. So many of Remus’ friends are gone, but he is here, at the end and the beginning. I’m glad he is, because there is no one else I’d rather see guiding Harry to Dumbledore’s portrait. And yes, I cry because Dumbledore is gone too, here and in canon. I cry because a portrait of Dumbledore’s would surely be smiling mysteriously.
“Mr Potter! Oh, goodness, is it true?” Professor McGonagall only stopped short of tackling him as he came through the door. “What happened?”
*teary smile* I love McGonagall. She’s so sincere. Thank you for including her in this scene.
And now I’m going to go through the boring part before I start wrapping up the review. There were some typos/formatting mistakes, and I’m going to list the ones I found so that you can correct them if you wish to, because really, this chapter deserves to be perfect in that sense as well.
- …while he gasped for breathe. – it should be ‘breath’ here instead of ‘breathe’.
- …Voldemort said sinisterly. ““Crucio!” – there’s a double quotation mark before ‘Crucio’.
- Vigil Tenebrae,” he muttered, holding his wand on the fallen wizard… - which you could move to the beginning of this sentence. ;)
- …from the time he left Grimmauld Place.And upon his death, Katie would… - a blank space missing between the two sentences.
- They all looked at her, and the quickly turning away… – I think you want a ‘then’ there after ‘and’.
“Go back to your friends, Harry. Voldemort has been vanquished.”
*sigh* It feels like this is Dumbledore’s final goodbye to Harry. And it’s very appropriate too, as we’re at the end of Blood Debt. The whole logic of the Prophecy makes very much sense, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we’ll see something similar in Book Seven. I know there will be an epilogue to BD, but really, this is a worthy end of an amazing story.
I can’t believe I’m about to finish my review for the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Blood Debt. It’s hard not to think about all the things that have happened since I read the first chapter of Year Six, or even since I read the first chapter of this story. To have been allowed to read, review and love. To have gone from random Swede to stalker, to LJ friend to fellow SPEW member, and from friend to älskling. What an incredible ride it has been, my love. =) And how much there still is to look forward to!
Thank you for being such a fantastic author, and thank you for sharing this!
Author's Response: *hug* What more can I say, min älskling?
*blushes* This review should have been written ages ago, but… Well, here it is at last.
You already know I have a few thoughts around the beginning of this chapter. I did not react so much on it the third or fourth time I re-read it, but it’s something there that isn’t quite “Jenna”. The two first paragraphs are fine, and so is the third one apart from the very first sentence: ‘For the most part, things were peaceful.’ - I’m not sure what it is, very likely it’s just me being silly, but I’m not too keen on the ‘For the most part’. Also, ‘things’ seem so general, it would have been much more like you to write ‘his/their days were peaceful’ or something similar.
I also reacted on the first line of the next paragraph: ‘Of course, Harry’s world was always far from calm and simple, and the approach of New Year’s bore with it less than happy occasions, the anniversary of Arthur Weasley’s death being one.’ - the ‘Of course’ at the beginning feels a bit off for some reason. It’s nothing wrong of course, it has more to do with the tone of your story. I think a simple ‘Still,’ might fit better. The ‘being one.’ at the end makes the sentence a bit strained, perhaps it could be swapped for a simple ‘like’ or ‘such as’ before ‘the anniversary…’, making the sentence look something like this: Still, Harry’s world was always far from calm and simple, and the approach of New Year’s bore with it less than happy occasions, such as the anniversary of Arthur Weasley’s death. - Just a suggestion, of course.
In the next paragraph, I don’t go well with this sentence: ‘Eventually, the day came upon him.’ - somewhere else, I would probably not have reacted on this line, but it’s not what I normally see in your writing. The ‘Eventually’ looks too short, the sentence seems written in haste without your usual care for ever word. I think that if fleshed out a little, it could work. Perhaps something like this, (but of course in your brilliant words, not in my simple ones to show an example): After growing a little impatient from the waiting, the day finally came upon him. Or else you could just take the sentence and combine it with the next one, turning it into: When the day eventually came upon him, Harry felt surreal/Harry’s feelings were surreal as he… or something like that, once again in your better words, naturally.
All right, I’m done complaining, from the next paragraph the story turns Jenna:ish again, and by the time we reach dialogue it’s back to the brilliance I’m always so spoiled with. First *squee* appeared after: “Harry.” Her voice seemed to catch on an intake of breath when she spoke his name – his first, rather than his last, Harry noticed.’ - all right, Siobhan using his first name might not be monumental, it might not even be that important, but it further confirms how affected she must have been by seeing that certain someone.
The meeting between Harry and Pettigrew was important, and I think you wrote it so well! I love how straightforward Harry is, it shows me more of his maturity. He might have unfinished business with Wormtail, plenty of it, but instead of focusing on a past he cannot change, he inquires about what’s important now, what will matter for his future. The Harry who got something from shouting out his anger at someone is gone, this Harry is collected and knows what he wants, and why.
You played out the debt issue very cleverly, I was waiting for some connection to it and I’m glad you showed us that it might not just work automatically, but that the person in debt might have to be “reminded”. Of course, the whole thing makes me think about the title of your story, and I’d like to take the opportunity and tell you how well picked I think it is. Not that I know what will happen in the end, but it’s my guess that the blood debt will be very important. Choosing it as a title is in one way like saying: “Lookie, this will be important to the story!”, but then you hold back its place in the story for so long that your readers tend to forget their first thoughts about it being important, and then going “Ooooh!” when you finally bring it forth. It’s like you’ve planted an enormous seed for the story, but then you’ve carefully drawn our attention away from it, only to make us do a double-take when we read the debt matter here, and probably smack our faces when the question of the blood debt appears in the end. :) Did I just blabber a lot? Looks like it, I had better move on then. ;)
Siobhan will have to excuse me now, when I turn my full attention to Harry and Katie. Little shivers run up and down my spine – again – as I re-read the dialogue. Harry was simply made for this relationship. I thought earlier today, when I read that excellent H/S one-shot, that I must be mad for never having requested anything more intimate from the H/K relationship. But, while I would of course love to see it, I’m more than satisfied what is there of them together. There are more complicated things than sex, in writing as well as in life, and what you have created between Harry and Katie is so powerful, it has helped develop his character so much. Around her, he has grown from a boy into a strong young man, capable of wise decisions and rational thinking. In short – he’s becoming the wizard who will defeat Voldemort. *has faith*
I’ll continue about love for just another little while, because the word can so easily be interpreted wrong and turned into fluff or smut. In Blood Debt, you are of course using it for the purpose of the plotline, and that is perhaps why you’ve managed to make it so real. It’s also important how you show us several aspects of it, there is not just Harry and Katie but also some… slightly less functional relationships, and the love between friends and family members. Jo has let us know that love is important for the HP books, but when many authors seem to take this as an excuse to write more snogging, instead you use the force of love in a way I’m sure would make The Creator herself very proud. :)
What did he say, the red-headed teaser? That fourth time’s a charm? Well, let’s if he’s right, shall we?
*sigh* Harry… Poor, dear, stupid Harry. The hopelessness just radiates from the paragraphs, and it makes my heart so heavy. And then Remus arrives; the perfect choice of character at this point, to bring back hope to Harry and your readers. I need to mention it, because we’re swiftly approaching the end of Blood Debt and I want it said, that I’m very impressed by how you’ve handled Remus in this story. You know, Harry and he has really grown into friends, but Remus is still in a position to give advice. You have not made him a bleak copy of James or Sirius, no, his relationship to Harry is truly unique. It was actually this line that made me smile the most:
“You have a good woman, there, Harry,” Lupin added.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that Remus is referring to Katie as a ‘woman’ as opposed to a ‘girl’, but the sentence just showed how he recognised Harry as a grown-up and gave him a word of advice at the same time. You know… I won’t assume that they’ll have a great deal of time together in Book Seven, but I still wish that the friendship of canon Harry and Remus would turn out something like this.
“There’s the slight problem of me being terrified out of my mind.”
So honest. When Harry admits this, it becomes true. I can’t relate to all of the fanfiction-Harrys who just put on a grim face and go to whip Voldie-butt without a second thought, but this Harry’s reactions make sense. That, among other reasons, is why this Harry is my favourite.
He had spent ten years bearing the grunt of the Dursleys abuse. He had behaved, he had let Dudley beat him up, he had remained friendless. He had resigned himself to living that hell day in, day out, hoping it would get better. Hoping that something would end it.
I just read that and the following lines of the first scene for what must have been the tenth time, and I still tear up. I’ve thought for a long time (yes, this was where the other reviews failed) what I wanted to say about this, but not quite found the words yet. You know that I adore your canon references, and I’m endlessly impressed by how you manage to tie your story to JKR’s work, especially with your own Year Six standing between canon and Blood Debt. But this part is just the work of a genius. Gah, Jenna, I just don’t know how to explain to you how brilliant this is. You have such an understanding for Harry’s character. It’s not about knowing all of the details from the books, like the stuff Harry kept in the cupboard, but about understanding how he felt. You do that, and you use it in your own fic with such an unusual and wonderful result.
Okay. The whole Harry/Katie thing is just… it’s completely lethal. I think I must have died a hundred times during the times I’ve read it. I could quote all of it and just write one giant ‘SQUEEE’ below, but I am going to try to pick some of the parts that shot me right through my Heart.
Harry felt better just having her close; he wanted to reach out and take her hand, but he wasn’t quite ready to feel her pull away from him.
*dies* Well… I suppose it was better to talk at Grimmauld Place… And, you know what? I was about to say that Katie wouldn’t have pulled away, but I’m not entirely sure about that. In any case, his worry is just so heartbreaking. The way you write this, it’s clear that he is in no way convinced that she’ll take him back.
“I know enough about prophecy and destiny to believe there’s truth to it. And I honestly believe that this is the way it was meant to happen — you and me. That world where I’m not with you? It doesn’t exist, Katie. And it’s never going to.”
*DIES and turns to Culters with smug look on face* (Yes, that’s the only comment you’re getting on this.)
Katie closed her eyes for a moment, sending more tears streaming down her face, and nodded slightly. Her eyes open again and looking earnestly into his, she grasped his hand firmly.
“You still have me, Harry.”
You were really out to murder me with this, weren’t you? The ‘earnestly’ is so Katie. It’s so Harry/Katie.
He looked at Katie once more, a smile on her face. She looked happy, and at peace, and it took him a minute to tear his eyes away and make his way through the door.
*mentally inserts something between the two scenes* *coughs* Yes. This is beautiful. I can precisely imagine Harry standing there, not hesitating but just slightly hypnotised by the sight. I can sense it from your words, all of the thoughts that must be swirling in his mind. It’s just… He must be full of new feelings from the previous night, and he must still be afraid of facing Voldemort. That minute there is perfectly placed.
Right. Evil Jenna. You’ve got me here:
“Take care of each other for me,” Harry said, trying to hide his voice catching in his throat.
I’m crying. Crying, even as I re-read it yet another time.
With that — he left the kitchen. He left Grimmauld Place. He took out his map and looked at his destination, taking a deep breath.
And then, Harry Potter went to face his destiny.
And this is officially the best chapter ending ever. Yes, better than the next chapter. I feel like a friend of Harry’s when reading it; sitting here, watching him leave, knowing what he must accomplish and trying to resist reaching out and pulling him back to safety. *sigh* You just have a gift with words. Yes, you’ve had plenty of practice, but… No, this isn’t something one can learn, I know it. This is a gift, your gift, and I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be recognised as First Fangirl of your work.
Review for the last chapter will follow, hopefully before too long, and I’ll leave my pestering for the prologue for then. ;)
(And it looks like Liam was right, doesn't it?)
Blood Debt! Blood Debt! Blood Debt! *fangirl chanting* Jenna, you make me so happy. :)
It was about time that Harry attended an Order meeting. I think you’ve written it very well, you’ve certainly got a lot of details and complexity in there, and Harry’s reflections and comments perfect it. The Blood Debt Harry has such a clear and sensible way of dealing with new information, however he comes across it, and Molly is spot on: …he was now a young man and was not only old enough to know what was going on, but to make his own decisions. Kingsley is class, perfect in the position you’re writing him.
The idea of the Anti-Magical Pulse Wave is both exciting and frightening. Frightening for obvious reasons, but exciting because I wonder how you’re going to use it in the story. It seems very natural to be concerned about St Mungo’s, and although you’re showing other options you’re certainly focusing your readers’ attention on the magical hospital through the characters’ discussions… But, myself, I’m for some reason more concerned about Hogwarts – magical wards down would be bad, preparations or not... *clings onto life and wants all of the good characters (and some not so good) to live forever* But, you know something, I just thought of it know when I read the full chapter, the name of the phenomenon, AMP or Anti-Magical Pulse Wave, it reminds me an awful lot about The Matrix and the EMP/Electromagnetic Pulse…
Arthur. You do know how to keep affecting your readers with a death that would, by now, be forgotten in most other fanfics. That’s all I have to say about that at the moment. :(
Harry/Katie… *sighs happily* Is it all right if I switch ultimate OTP again? :) Their little exchange inside the front door meant so much. There’s Harry’s care for her of course, with helping her with the cloak. There’s also the fact that they belong together, that they’re being with each other on days like these. But most of all, there’s the tiny thing that Harry mentions families. He sees the Weasleys as his own, and isn’t afraid of soon being included in Katie’s. It’s been like this for a while of course, but it suddenly hit me that there’s no mention or no written thought about his parents there. Lily and James are still a part of him, but longing for them doesn’t take up Harry’s time anymore. *thoughtful*
Siobhan… *sighs and is sad* Oh, this is so hard… I know that she would probably be even more so if she wasn’t sitting there will Harry, Grangers and Bells, but oh, how lonely she seems. And not just lonely, but burdened with her own history, both back in Ireland and the more recent one in England. Stupid, bloody Lucius! I know, I know it’s complicated, but this is one of the rare times when I see why the Cult makes some kind of sense. I don’t necessarily think that Siobhan should be with Harry, but I wish there were someone else for her, in all ways better than Lucius so that she would never have to think about him again. Unfortunately, I can’t think of where to find a man like that.
Nope, I didn’t find anything to bother you about in this chapter. It just feels marvellous that it’s here! :) I won’t waste letters telling you how eagerly I await the rest of this story, because I’m positive you know that already. *hugs*
YOU KILLED DUMBLEDORE! EVIL JENNA!
There, I had to get it out, I couldn’t help myself. Because I know that I have told you how wonderful it has been to return to Blood Debt after reading HBP, to see Dumbledore alive and well. But now he’s gone from this universe as well.
He is gone.
Dumbledore is gone, and I feel lost. You know… I never doubted it, and you never denied it, even though there was plenty of room for doubting. Dumbledore is dead, and I’m re-living the pain I felt on that July evening last year. Or, no, this is actually worse. Because then, sad as I was, I knew that I had my favourite fanfic to go back to, to read and to know that he was still alive, that being dead in canon did not matter all that much because he was still breathing and occasionally smiling in your creation. Yes, I am reading other fanfics as well, but Blood Debt is, together with Year Six, the fic I have followed the longest and the one that has come to affect me the most. When reading this chapter, there was finally no return from canon knowledge – he is dead. No matter what I read elsewhere, it will be AU in a way that Blood Debt never has been. Because now he is gone, and seeing him alive somewhere else will feel… AU.
I suppose… I suppose that I should try and say something about the rest of this chapter, seeing as it’s brilliant. You pick up the mood nicely from where you ended ch 34, and you change ever so slightly to make us readers restless, to make us realise that something is coming and there is nothing we can do to stop it. I know that having read the next chapters affects this, but re-reading this I realise that Ron has got that wonderful Samwise Gamgee-feeling about him already in this chapter. I don’t know if you intended it to be so, or if it’s simply because Ron’s and Harry’s friendship has evolved to this, but I love it. And continuing on the Ron thread… Oh, Jenna, I was so afraid you were going to rob your universe of Ron! During the brief conversation before class, the R/Hr shipper inside me woke up and took over all of my emotions before I could stop it. There was something there, something I haven’t seen for too many chapters, and once again I dared to hope, really hope, for a reunion before the end. Then, don’t ask me why but I was suddenly so afraid that you would sort out their feelings just to let Ron go. Then again, that makes no sense, because things were obviously not “sorted” here, so I don’t know why I suddenly feared to lose Ron before the end of this chapter. But Jenna, please, please, please don’t kill Ron. *trembling lip* Ron needs to live, he needs to let that Samwise-like person inside him talk to Hermione.
I loved how you used the “Wingardium Leviosa”, especially after having Harry mention Hermione in their first year. Simply brilliant detail, and very frightening. And as for details, I knew about the walkie talkie already, but I still think it’s worth to mention the clever use of it in full context.
The soothing Siobhan moment was very well placed. Don’t tell her this, but for a moment she was completely gone from my mind, but only because of the excellent trio dynamics you had written earlier in the chapter. But then she appeared, stepping right into her place in this story, and used her own relationship with Harry in a way that neither Hermione nor Ron could. And yes, her smirk was there, and at first it made me smile and think that it was so Siobhan. But then… oh, I think I caught a glimpse of her love for Harry there, and it made me so endlessly sad. I don’t think that anything could make me want Siobhan/Harry to happen in Blood Debt, I love Harry/Katie too much for that, but Siobhan is so… lonely. I don’t suppose that we could clone Harry? Then we would have a reserve when he’s fighting Voldemort too! >.>
Harry’s reluctance to leave was just… Harry. You couldn’t have written it any better. Yes, he has grown and matured in this story, but this still feels like the right way for him to react. And it seems to me that it wasn’t just the turmoil and the battle, but some other connection… *sighs* I think I have already dealt with the ending, so… Perhaps I should focus on the review for 36? *deeper sigh* I do hope you got my opinion that this is superb, because it is, I just… well, I just miss him. =(
Ron. Ron.. is not intentionally written as Sam, no. But, I do see that parallel -- I just wrote him as Ron... I was actually rereading some older chapters, when Ron was a whole subplot and there was a lot sacrifice on his part for the sake of Harry. Ron, like Sam, has a duty that's more about someone else than it is himself, but it doesn't make him any less brave... makes him more brave them people realise, actually. Because it's not about himself, it's about his love for another person... speaking of which. I've been playing with Ron & Hermione for an awful long time... It certainly wasn't a cheap plot-point break up... but my lips are still sealed on where that's going. But.. keep an eye out for shippiness of all pairings ;)
Wingardium Leviosa was intentional, them being in charms, the throwback to first year, Halloween and the incident with the troll that united them. I'm trying to get first year in there :) Because that was the beginning, and this is the end.
Oh, you make me sad for Siobhan. She does love Harry, but... it's probably the same way that Ron or Hermione love him... yeah, she does fancy him a bit -- but he's not... you know >.> He's not The Man She Loves. And yes, she's lonely. I'm an awful person...
Harry, Harry... *darts eyes nervously* God, I hope the ending is IC, too.. eep. *waits patiently for next review*
Right... You're here, I'm here and the absolutely amazing sequel is here... So why are my eyes all water and why is there a great lump in my chest? I MISS GINNY! This is much worse than the end of "Sixth Year", damn, if I wasn't sitting in the same room as my "au pair parents" I would be crying. You write so well, everything is true and clear, and real. It makes me so sad, makes me cry, but I love it. You better cheer things up a bit, quickly, or I won't know what to do! /Fantasium, one of your faithful readers
Author's Response: thanks so much ;) Really great feedback, I'm very grateful. Don't worry, Harry will have roadblocks, but I'm trying to keep him relatively cheery this year ;)
Well, I had planned to write some non-SPEW reviews tonight, but what do you know? I found out that someone had, most sneakily, updated this lovely story! And with such a chapter, there’s not much to do but to review. :)
To begin with, I believe I’m taking quite a liking to Sara Potter. This is important to me, since I’m so fond of Harry and would not like to see him with someone remotely unworthy of the love I’m guessing (and that you’re showing) he’s got to give. Of course, I don’t know how much screen time she will have in this story (though I suspect it will be limited?), but you have already, with relatively few but very clever moves, presented her character to us. When I first started reading this fic, a part of me was secretly longing for an unlikely H/G reunion (yes, yes, you know I have that weak spot), but now I’ve forgotten about those thoughts and I’m simply curious of what will happen when they finally do meet each other – which I hope will happen, eventually?
Elsa… oh, MJ, what a possibility you have here! I already like what I see, and I keep thinking what it must be like to have Ron and Luna for parents, and still be a unique person of your own. Your approach on Luna’s character pleases me. I can never really decide if I want her to be slightly more “normal” in post-Hogwarts stories, or if I like her just as loony as ever. I’d say that what I’ve seen of your version leans more towards loony, but with a grown-up touch, and I think it’s believable and suitable.
Algie sat back and munched happily on his corned beef sandwich as the conversations continued to swirl around him. - Corned beef, eh? *giggles* Nice detail, I must say.
When we first entered the scene at Hogwarts, I almost believed that you were going to knock me off my feet with some Severus/Hermione. O.O I’m very glad you didn’t, because it’s not a pairing I really understand or feel comfortable with. (Yeah, I know, that’s a bit odd after I’ve enjoyed G/R so, but never mind.) I do however like the first-name basis you write them at, which I’m more than ready to accept after they have worked together for so long. I wonder how their connection will affect things later on…
Overall, this was a great read and I’m so happy to see an update! I’m afraid I haven’t got anything to add but praise – it seems that by brewing chapters in your head for so long, they turn out perfect. :) I especially like how the story have two major parts – the grown-ups with their complicated past and adult lives for you to show us, and the new generation who are about to experience the joys and trials of Hogwarts. MJ, I’m so looking forward to more! And next time, please do tell me when you update? ;)
And Elsa... a last minute addition who completes a next generation trio... She just hopped on into the fic and is fast becoming my favourite OC. I'd best be careful or she'll run off with the story!
Thank-you so much for the review! I do hope to have an update for you soon :)