I am finally going to put a little something in here.
But what to say?
Hm, well, I am 26 and a med student, so my time is really not my own and whatever time I do get to myself I cling to like a baby clings to a blanket. I went to Texas Tech University and as such, am a die-hard Red Raider fan. This means if Tech is playing football, don't expect to reach me.
I have a few fics of my own but I am enjoying reviewing for those I have gotten to know from the forums. I hope to have more written soon, but we'll see what life says about that.
If you're wondering what happened to "The Letter" I decided the story needed a complete overhaul and have since deleted it. When I get a bit of time I plan on bringing it back to you with largely the same ideas, just much improved. Thanks for your interest.
I wanted to wait until I had a few minutes so I could leave you a proper review. I love the way you describe things. For instance, though Hogwarts is destroyed, Hermione still describes it lovingly because I think it was truly a place she loved to be. I immediately sensed that this would be a story of a inner battle of Hermione's because she has a lot of guilt from leaving the Order but it takes a lot for her to help now. I also think you did a very good job of conjuring a brooding Harry, he is perfectly in character because we have seen brooding Happy in OotP and your Harry is that Harry, just a few years down the road. All in all I think this a wonderfully written work and a nice change from all of the "Harry wins and everyone lives happily ever after" sort of story that is so common. Bravo and I will leave a little something for every chapter (after all, feedback helps the world go 'round and the inspiration to keep on ticking).
Author's Response: Thank you very much! I'm glad we are on the same wavelength when it comes to the "Happily ever after idea."
What I loved about this chapter can be summed up in one word-Snape! I personally love the man and all of his intrigue. But to start, Hermione a drinker. With all of that guilt she has it is almost natural for the girl to take up alcohol. I also noticed how she is almost mothering Harry like she did in school, just now with a bit of a condescending tone about her. The way she reacts when Snape arrives really shows just how much she has changed. First, she is startled and then she verbally spars with him jab for jab. She is clearly not a woman who has time for empty conversations anymore. And at the end when she asks, "as low as you?" it is almost as if she knows that this will get Snape more than anything because I think that Snape has a lot of trouble believing himself to be worthy of anything and I think Hermione picks up on this. Great job!
Ah, more brooding Harry in this chapter but that is not what we really get out of it, is it? This chapter is a true meeting of the minds. Snape recognizes that Hermione just might be the only way out of this, whatever this is as we still do not know where his loyalties lie. I think he grudgingly acknowledges that Hermione is quite brilliant and he finally kind of lets her know that he knows that (very, very subtly). I think that Hermione and Snape are quite the match in the brains department, not to say that Harry and Ron are idiots, but they certainly not up to her caliber and Snape is. I think this chapter puts them on equal footing and really makes Hermione realize that to beat them, sometimes you've got to join them, and if you're talking about Death Eaters that's not going to be pretty in any stretch of the imagination. I just love the way you're telling this, you give just enough to get a reader hooked, but we still have no idea what will happen in the end.
Oy, Hermione has a lot of guilt doesn't she, even from before she left the Order? I'm glad that you let us know what happened to bring this story about. Of course we all had assumed, but it is nice to see your take on it. I also liked the graveyard scene, I do think Hermione would want to pay her respects because I think she thinks that she has let these people down almost as much as Harry thinks he has. Harry doesn't trust Snape and he probably never will but does Hermione really trust him either? I think that's something that she will have to figure out soon and I like how you give her a little of what she is looking for at the end with a hug from Harry.
Thought I'd give you a bit more than usual this time around, sorry if the formatting goes a bit wonky!
Another thoroughly intriguing chapter, I love your writing so much because it makes me think! First of all, I love the poem choice. I think it describes perfectly what they are all trying to accomplish, and an interesting choice in having Fred read it but it really fit well. You do very well in the characters across just by the way they stand around at the funeral. For example, Harry shielded by his cloak, Colin a wee bit scared, and Fred hiding behind his hair. The best bit though was this, Ron Weasley, a distance away, is lying on his back and gazing up to heaven. Youíve really taken him back to really where I think he would be psychologically given all that he has suffered. Now he has all the wisdom (and children are wise, albeit in a totally different and innocent way than adults) and wonder of a child. That, and he has the ability to say the simplest of sentences that hold the most truth. This one really spoke to me, as an example, He smiles, but only slightly. ďWhy are we at a funeral? I really donít like them.Ē It was really touching that you have Hermione really trying to connect with him, I know you donít support R/Hr as a ship but there is a strong friendship there and I think that Hermione really is longing for that sort of support again. The end brings it all home though, Ron cannot really understand at all what is going on, he doesnít really have the mental capacity to, and all he sees is betrayal.
As for Snape, I feel tremendously that he is seriously grieving for Dumbledore and I think thatís what youíve given us here. When I read this though, ďI cannot trust you, not in this present time, Hermione. To do so would be to cause even greater pain, not to me, but to you.Ē I have to admit that I couldnít really puzzle it out, but thatís who Snape is, isnít it? Heís never going to say anything outright, heís way too enigmatic for that. I also think that it is his style to call the shots when it comes to their physicality too. Perhaps when he lets her kiss him it isnít necessarily trust, but more of the same sort of security that Hermione is describing for him as well?
Leave it to Harry to get in the zinger comment though. Somehow I have always seen him as the closet vindictive sort.
All in all, I am loving this story so much. Just to let you know, I have added it to my favorites.
Author's Response: Arwwww, thank you very much Rhae. I've really enjoyed reading this review. I am glad you connected with Ron's psychological state... I did minimum research into the type of behaviour and was worried that it wouldn't pull off. I need Snape to say that line because of something later on... it's one of these "it all becomes clear later" things. I think from now on I'm going to pull a few answers out of Snape, rather than leaving you too confused.
I really recommend you applying to SPEW! You do enjoy reviewing and your reviews have been of significant benefit to my story, as I'm sure your reviews are for most the authors you reply to. I really respect your dedication and its helping me push on with the story. Next chapter should be up soon, I've nearlly finished it - it's a bit more light-hearted!
Well, hmm, yes it was dark and really almost *painful* to read (I had a hold of my shirt the entire time because Lucius seems so real) but it was entirely realistic. Malfoy is barely human, more of a savage beast and he has no morals after all. I am pleased to see that Neville showed up, that is what he would do anyway, I think even if everyone else went screaming in the other direction. And Snape! Angry!Snape and possibly caring!Snape! Even if he is a caring man, you still kept him in character and left him his ambiguity. I do feel for Hermione though, and no I don't think you completely heartless for what she has gone through. It is war after all.
Okay this time Iím going to do two chapters in one, hope you donít mind:
*Calmly puts down coffee and rereads to make sure she read what she thinks she read* Yep, I read that right. How very interesting, Snape a father? I have read a few fics where Severus gets to have a happy life and little Snapes running around but what makes yours different is that theyíre not happy, at least theyíre not safe. In fact there is a very real chance that this kid might not even be born. Interesting, indeed. I do like that you let him confess that he never thought of himself as a father because there are oodles of people about that canít wrap their minds around that either. For the most part though I really enjoyed how he took the news, it takes something big to get that scowl off his face and that sure did it. I also thought it funny that they feel comfortable enough with each other to mock each other, I never thought that I would see that happening. I do feel bad that the Order is ignoring her but it is kind of to be expected, everyoneís nerves are a bit frayed and no one wants to trust anyone else. I do think that the blood wand is an interesting bit too, I am really curious to see where all of this is going, you do tell a wonderful story.
My only quibble in this chapter: I relax my gripped jaw and stop wincing my eyes. Wincing eyes? Iím not sure what you mean by that.
Ah, the moment weíve all been waiting for. I must admit there is so much suspense in this chapter that my heart was pounding. I appreciate that even though we are now 21 chapters into this we still really donít know about Snape. Before they go to the meeting it seems that he is concerned for Hermione, if not fully caring about her. He may even love her but there is enough mystery there still for it to be a question. I honestly cannot imagine a scarier and more horrifying experience than to be in the presence of oneís mortal enemy and once more, pretend that you are on his side. You left this a bit of a cliffhanger and I wish we had the new chapter already. I do hope that it doesnít end too badly!
So much happens in this chapter! Don't worry, it wasn't tedious to read, very enjoyable actually. At the beginning, I liked how Snape was showing pretty heavily that he might indeed care. However, he understands that she does have to go it alone so he lets her. I think he realizes that she is strong in her own right and allows her to be. As for Harry and Fred being so understanding, I think that it gave Hermione a little of herself back. I think she was so entrenched in darkness and despair that she forgot for a while that her old friends were there. And Ron, a moment of saneness! I think it is interesting how Hermione is starting to wonder about him and his feelings toward her. I wonder what more he would have said to her if he had been in a capacity to do so earlier in the story. As for your note, things are heating up a bit? I say bring it on, it can only get better!!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for yet another lovely and detailled review! I realised that I'd left Ron hanging around Grimmauld Place, completely mad yet floating around with no function. That is why I included him! I'm very anti-R/Hg but I think there may be truth in Ron's feelings for Hermione and realised this would be a wonderful root cause of his "hatred" of her (for want of a better word.)
Things are heating up, yes. My next chapter is going to round off this section of the story and then I'm going to push it to its conclusion. I would say its going to be "darker" but I don't think I can physically make it darker (without putting Hermione in a big abyss somewhere) and I am going to put in one possitive element. Hehe. Stay Tuned! Now that my essays are completed for Uni applications I'm going to spend time on fan fiction.
Ah, the Death Eaters. I agree with you in that though they hold a great deal of the money in the Wizarding World, their tastes keep their surroundings pretty barbaric. We get a little glimpse of a perhaps concerned!Snape, but when do we ever know for sure. I was horrified with what they found in the Entrance Hall of Azkaban but I think that you are absolutely right in that the Death Eaters would want to keep trophies. That sort of thing has a long legacy (William Wallace?). The darkest chapter so far but tastefully done, you are really great at writing this sort of genre.
I know I said I live Snape, but I really have a soft spot for Ron. I was heartbroken to see him so shattered but he would be one of the most wanted as a member of the trio and it is really something that he is even alive. I am glad that you are allowing him some comfort in his memories of home. I think it speaks volumes that Hermione does not want comfort: an ice cold shower, a comfortable bed. I think it says that she knows what is coming and that it is going to test her to her limits and she feels she needs to do that to prepare. Never mind all that guilt of hers still hanging about. I really like what you've made of her, she seems more real to me.
I don't think that there was any OOCness at all. You've taken these three and thrown them into a horrible, horrible time and place. Who knows what we would do in such a state? We know from OotP that Harry can be a bit of a whiny brat and poor Ron, of course he would freak out, Hermione is powerful enough in her own right and if he really thought she was a Death Eater? And Hermione, she might just be strong enough to get them all through this. I can't wait to read more.
Oh how I would like to take Lucius Malfoy and...and...roast him on a spit or something! I think you've hit him dead on as well (wow you are good at getting the characters right). I must say that I was shouting at my computer screen for Snape to do something, which was probably funny because I was at work. I understand that he really can't, but that doesn't mean I don't want him to *try*.
What is going on? I'm glad that Snape is taking care of Hermione and is taking time to explain a few things but what is all of this about it mattering if something happens to her? Not allowing her to change into Harry lest she be killed? Does he really care? This is why I love this fic, we don't know! That, and that is how Snape is anyway.
Author's Response: Does he really care? *ponders* I crave for Snape to be good in the real books. So when I wrote this chapter I wanted an element of goodness to shine through. But his ambiguity is still upheld, even for my the writer, and I don't yet know the conclusion.
Wow, those Weasley boys really got the short end of the stick in all of this didn't they? Poor Fred, I really can't imagine him without George but I think you've done a good job bringing to light what his life bust be like and all of the pain that he's had to deal with. I think you also did a great job showing us just how bad the change of power is. Diagon Alley is dead, that is the best word for it, and it really makes me realize just the depth of what they are going through.
What I loved about this chapter is what the characters have become. Harry is still brooding and doesn't trust Snape (and probably never will), Fred is willing to help although he has some reservations, Colin is still gawking as always but now it's for different reasons, Neville is as brave as ever (I really feel for Neville, I think he is braver than most of the Gryffindors and he has a strength that he doesn't know about), Flitwick helps too but is reserved as well and Snape's as snarky as ever. I find it kind of ironic that all of these men are depending on Hermione because none of them seem man enough to want to get things going themselves. Interesting.
A chink in the armor, and doubt about Snape's loyalties to boot. And please tell me Draco gets skewered when this all ends, I can't stand him, but that's only because you wrote him so well! I was wondering when and if Hermione might break down, she's been holding in so much, and interesting that she would lash out at Snape. It does make sense though, she is with him the most and funny things happen when two people are put through as much stress as they are. I don't think that there is any going back now, is there?
Author's Response: Nope! Sorry.
Ugh, Draco and his goons. I want to kick them all. Well, Hermione did just break down so she's not exactly thinking straight and that is very, very dangerous. I was glad to see the Occlumency lesson though, I was wondering when they would get around to that. And thank you for letting Harry get the better of Draco, maybe it will help his self-esteem a bit?
Woo hoo this chapter is so full of turns and intrigue. First, they're running out of time. Second, the whole wand scenario. Third, the Order's still really not cooperating. Fourth, dominating!Hermione. I think she needs to know her own power before the plan really gets started and I think that is what you are allowing her to do. I think the blood wand idea is brilliant, she really will have to join them to beat them, or at least make it seem that way. Can't wait to read what happens!
I know that you had some trepidation about this chapter from the forums but I think you wrote it beautifully. Everything is happening so fast and Hermione has always been one to second-guess herself. I love the idea that what she hungers for is freedom and it is kind of ironic that it is what is shared with Snape that gives her that illusion. I know that you are hard at work on this and other things so I won't bug you for updates but I wonder, does Neville show up?
Author's Response: Hey,
Firstly I want to give you one fifteen HUGE hugs for every review you have submitted - you have cheered me up eternally, today as been a pretty rotten day (my dog is ill.) I want to thank you for your insight, it's reminded me of aspects of the stories taht I had myself forgotten and the light you shed on each part has helped me see it from an objective view point. I can tell you have connected with this story -- and I'm shaking with pride because of that! Your comments on Snape were all very helpful, I'm glad in your view he's been upheld properly as I sometimes have my doubts.
Hermione! What can I say about her? She does have her ups and downs. I pity her, reading your reviews has made me consider myself a very heartless person, and I pity her even more because I know whats about to happen.
Next chapter will hopefully be up soon. You will not like it, that I can assure you! It's probably the darkest chapter yet.
Wow, I think that you write extremely well. You think that it was a little bit of a mess but I disagree. Hermione is been through more stress than may be humanly possible and I think that what is happening to her is completely realistic. I love the way you are still playing Snape to both sides, he's almost more intriguing here than in canon. I'm sorry about Neville but at least he helped out in other ways. Fantastic, can't wait for the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you very much, once again. I need to be careful though, I am someone who goes around criticising other people for having character OOC and yet Hermione is almost unrecognisable. I guess Neville did help out, bless him. I am such a cruel person. Hopefully I will write the next chapter soon -- if I get round to it with all the challenge fics I am forcing myself to write lately.