I'm a fan of well-crafted prose in many genres, and I'm working to learn some of that craft myself.
I've really been enjoying this story. I don't usually read HG/SS fics, but you've managed to keep both Hermione and Snape firmly in character while creating a plausible context for their relationship. And the characterization of Nathan is very well done -- we keep seeing glimpses of both his parents in his own personality. I'm looking forward to future chapters!
Author's Response: Thanks. :0) I\'m glad you\'re reading the story even if you don\'t like the ship (yet). ;0)
I love writing Nathan, and I\'m really glad you\'re enjoying reading him.
Thanks for reading and reviewing, Shimotsuki! :0)
I originally found your work when I was lurking around the site as a visitor for a month or two. Now that I've got an account, I want to be sure to leave a review!
I really, really enjoy both your voice -- elegant, precise, and so very dry -- as well as your talent for reading between the lines to create imaginative and unexpected siutations that are nevertheless canon-compliant.
I am agnostic about Snape's true loyalties in canon (although I hope we will find that Dumbledore was not wrong, and Harry is). I agree with your overall premise that if Snape is loyal, then a past friendship (or more) with Lily has a lot to do with it. In any case, with this story, you have once again made me feel deep sympathy for all that Snape has had to endure since Harry started at Hogwarts.
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you! I\'m glad you\'ve joined up. Harry has indeed been a great deal for Severus to endure, hasn\'t he? He talks back, gets into trouble and eels out of it again, and just absolutely refuses to be good at Potions. Here\'s an AU to ponder -- what if Harry HAD been sorted into Slytherin?
I'm still here, reading and enjoying. I've particularly liked Krum's cameo in chapter 6, and Malfoy's "cheatproofing" of Zabini in chapter 7.
I've never really understood the Michael and Padma relationship very well in this story, but perhaps what we learn here in chapter 8 is that Michael and Padma haven't been understanding it that well, either.
Looking forward to more chapters.
Author's Response: Dear Shimotsuki, Thanks for keeping up the reviews. My son did help with the cheat-proofing part of the plot, but I threw in the reference to Pascal, just in case you missed it the first time. I don\'t think you need to understand \"why\" a 14-year-old boy fancies a 13-year-old girl; it just shows that his hormones are working. Their ship is now well and truly sunk, and both are ready to move on. More chapters are in the queue, GhV
When I visited MNFF as a visitor a few months ago, "Moons of Deceit" was one of the stories I most enjoyed, so I was delighted to find that you're posting a new story. Now that I have an account, I wanted to be sure to leave a review.
"Turning the Corner" looks like it will be quite different but equally compelling. Stories that take on canon events from the viewpoints of minor characters, and explain why those characters do what they do when we see them in canon, are fun to read. And you do a lovely job both with storytelling and character development (I liked Ariadne very much in MoD), so I look forward to finding out more about your version of Michael. Not to mention Blaise's bet with Draco -- which can't possibly end well! -- and all those wonderful questions you raised in the Introduction to Chapter 1.
So far, your Michael seems a very good fit for Ravenclaw. He is a sympathetic character, but he has quite an analytical outlook on life, even on its emotional aspects.
Author's Response: Dear Shimotsuki, Congratulations on acquiring an account. You could make no better use of it than to write reviews! \"Turning the Corner\" is a rather frivolous story, but I promise you the Slytherins\' bet will end badly for all concerned. Michael is quite the White Knight in comparison - or so he\'d like you to believe. Thank you for taking the trouble to write such a thoughtful review. After I\'ve finished with \"Corner\", I shall be posting a sequel to \"Moons of Deceit\". Best wishes, GhV
This is a lovely, poignant story. The interaction between the mirrors works well on its own, while on another level it also symbolizes the interactions between McGonagall and Dumbledore -- she learned so much from him while being a strong supporter, and now she will go on without him but with the knowledge she has gained.
(On a lighter note, the image of Dobby starting to dress more and more like Harry made me chuckle.)
Author's Response: Er, I actually didn\'t think much about the McGonagall Dumbledore thing. Which is what I love about the interaction between a reader and a writer. Sometimes the reader finds absolutely wonderful connections that the writer never even realizes are there. So you have brightened up my day in that respect. Oh, and I am quite in love with Dobby (no, not it that way). I just love all the Harry Potter animals (as you can see by reading my one-shots).
Aww. Nicely written, and the characters are very real. The Black family and their interactions provide plenty of scope for speculation, don't they.
Many fans seem to imagine Alphard as having been openly opposed to the family all along, but I like your take on him -- a lot more subtle. His oblique comments about Aberforth being good for overshadowed siblings are poignant. (I'm not quite sure that I understand the reference in "unlike the average fourteen-year-old," however.)
The title almost sounds mocking, or sarcastic, but the story isn't like that at all. A well-written, plausible look inside Sirius's head, with nice allusions to canon ... and a really heartbreaking foreshadowing of the fight at the Ministry. Your have Sirius trying to curb some of his baser instincts because he worries about what Harry would think, and that seems just like something he would do.
Very nice! I'll keep my eye out for updates.
Author's Response: Thanks! I\'m so glad you liked it. :D I know the title is sort of at odds with the story, but I just couldn\'t resist. And Sirius isn\'t just worried what Harry would think, he actually cares about setting a good example and all that.
Another nice installment! From funny ("Dumbledore?" said Sirius, pouting. "Why's he getting more Aurors?) to poignant. Although, wouldn't Tonks be Sirius's second cousin rather than his niece?
About my last review: I didn't mean to suggest that Sirius was being insincere. I was surmising that he cares more about actually doing the right thing when he knows that he is setting an example for Harry; he might not have had as much strength to do what's right if he didn't have that extra sense of responsibility.
Anyway, looking forward to future updates!
Author's Response: Thanks again! Glad to know you\'re still enjoying it. Tonks is technically Sirius\'s 2nd cousin, but that would\'ve been awkward to write. And in my family we call, like, my dad\'s 3rd cousin \"uncle\" and his kids \"cousins\" so I figured the Blacks could be the same way, lol. And Tonks probably thinks of Sirius as just a cousin, not an uncle. I think we have basically the same view of Sirius\'s attitude to Harry; from him staying cooped up in Grimmauld Place mostly for Harry\'s sake, to him really wanting to be a responsible adult when Harry\'s around. --cb
The things they carried were not always visible, or tangible. They were not always pocket-sized reminders or magical objects or wands or potions. They were not always spoken of.
But they were always there.
A powerful story -- a very good read. The atmosphere of the Order at war is chilling, and the different perspectives taken on the lists of "things they carried" gives the story a very effective sense of symmetry.
Oh, that was really nicely done.
Ginny vs. Parvati, Seamus vs. Cormac -- very well thought out. (Although McLaggen could be a Scottish name, couldn't it?)
Author's Response: Thank you -- glad the parallels worked. As I understand it, the Scots form would usually be \'MacLaggen\' and the Irish form \'McLaggen\' -- although a lot of Scots do have Mc names too, yes.
This is a creative idea for a story, and it relates nicely to the prompt you were working from. The insight you give into the thoughts of your "bad" character even makes him a bit sympathetic.
The deliberately ambiguous beginning is effective -- I could tell you were making us guess who the speaker was, but it still came as a surprise when you revealed his identity.
They stood there, memory between them, until the door creaked open...
One thing that occurred to me as I read this story is that it might be even better as a longer piece. There are a number of passages that are written as a sort of retrospective summary, like this one:
...Remus had gone immediately back to the werewolves after a three-day absence. He was shocked to find that in his short absence, Voldemort had paid a very rare surprise visit and appointed Blaise the new leader.
Former teacher and student had had an awkward first meeting, but they had slid quickly into a mentor-pupil relationship. Remus found that the Slytherin had changed a great deal since Hogwarts.
I think there is a lot of potential here for some really interesting storytelling -- What were the werewolves doing when Remus went back, and how did his shock manifest itself? What did Blaise and Remus say at that awkward first meeting? What did Blaise do that showed Remus how he had changed?
Your ending made me think hard about the characters and their motivations. I wonder if canon Remus really has the same kind of driving ambition to lead that you give to Blaise here (although he certainly does have a driving ambition to fight against those who threaten the world he cares about).
You show very effectively how Remus and Blaise have each made a decision about what they believe must be done, and have worked toward those ends, although those ends are so very different. (And it's sweet to think about Tonks and Remus expecting...)
Author's Response: Thank you so much! Long reviews make my day. The prompt that Nan gave me -- about someone looking for someone else -- is what gave me the idea to have Tonks pregnant, doubling her danger and the emotional impact. I do like the way that turned out. I\'ll think about the longer story. When I was writing this, I did try to put more background in, but I found that it distracted from the pursuit, and I couldn\'t keep it short and focused. But I\'ll definitely consider filling in those gaps. Again, thank you so much!
Lovely, as always -- the dry, precise voice of Vindictus Viridian.
A nice tactic, to let Severus ask Ginny questions this time. It makes sense for him to want to do so, and it gives the rest of us a chance to see what's been happening in the last seven years. (Your allusion to the 'Blue Eyes' series here is sweet, too.)
Of course, letting Severus have a turn at asking questions also lets you prolong the suspense! What will he finally decide he can tell Ginny, and whatever will she think about it? Ah, tenterhooks.
Author's Response: I\'m glad you\'re finding his basic intractability sufficient for suspense -- that worried me a little as I wrote these chapters. And the \"Blue\" reference is a special little present for those who have read all the other stories, though it probably bewilders those who haven\'t (and those canon shippers now imagining the Ron/Hermione spat that would have ensued.) Thanks for the nice review!
The point about the wolfhounds and the terrier is very interesting, as is the point about the desire to kill versus the nerve to follow through. Maybe Severus is beginning to understand that he may, after all, have made choices?
I've missed this story and look forward to further developments. I wonder if today's realizations will help Severus see what the Wizengamot needs to hear when his case goes to trial.
Author's Response: Severus is changing a bit, isn\'t he? Thanks for reviewing, and I\'ll try to get some chapters up in good order.
Oh, hooray, a new "long story" from Vindictus Viridian! Beautifully phrased, as always. And plotwise, a very promising start. I will be watching vigilantly for updates.
I suspect I see one direction in which this story might be going. It's hard to miss the overall similarities between Lily and Ginny in canon, but it hadn't occurred to me to consider that parallel from Severus's perspective until "The Right Questions." Now in this story, it's ten years later, and no one is anyone's teacher anymore.
"People who defend me tend to die."
I'm not one-hundred-percent sure that canon Snape and ItEoO Severus are the same person, but your work has made me love your Severus, and this line was very poignant.
How long could he tell her stories, true ones, without saying anything he wished to keep to himself?
Indeed. I look forward to watching Severus tell Ginny what he needs to tell her, even if he doesn't think he means to...
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! First one! I\'m glad you think this has some direction to it from the start. Somehow Harry\'s relationship to Ginny never seemed permanent to me, to have some elements in it and in each other that each were taking for granted. The idea that Ginny might go to school and stay single for quite a long time just appealed to me. Then she needed a profession, and... Plotbunny. Big one.
Wow. Severus thinking that Ginny can understand him better than Lily could have -- that hits like a sledgehammer, given his history with Lily.
Still enjoying this very much. I have to admit I do wonder how followable it would be for a reader who hadn't read ItEoO, but since I have... this is compelling.
Author's Response: Thanks! I\'m glad you\'re enjoying it, and that it has an impact.
Still here -- still enjoying.
One thing that I particularly like about this story is the way human nature comes into it -- even counsel and judges can be angry, or impatient, or cocksure, or curious, and the various characters are using those traits in each other to further their ends. It's like watching a chess game.
I hope DH bears out your interpretation of Severus, but even if it doesn't, your "corpus" will stand as a delightful and highly plausible AU to show us all what might have been. I've enjoyed your work very much in the year since I've discovered it and hope you will keep writing even after DH.
Author's Response: Well, the good news is, I can\'t imagine not writing. Thanks! I spent some time talking with lawyers for this story, and had a good time -- defence-attorney-ing and storytelling really have a lot in common.
I'm spending less time on MuggleNet these days, but I definitely owe you (and Ariadne) a review on this site. "Moons of Deceit" here on MNFF was one of the first fanfiction stories I ever read, and it played a large part in convincing me that some fanfiction is worth following. I'm delighted to see that you plan to share "Crown of the North" (and even more of the Moon-Cursers series, perhaps?) with your MuggleNet audience as well.
Coincidentally, I just read straight through all of "Crown of the North" last week (elsewhere), and enjoyed it immensely. My internal image of Remus differs a bit from yours, but your characterization of him is nevertheless extremely consistent with canon, and internally consistent through your stories as well. The way you write his interactions with Ariadne and others is simply lovely to read.
Chapter 1 is an intriguing surprise -- at the end of "Moons of Deceit," the walking tour seems to be a simple holiday outing, but now we find out that there is much more at stake.
Author's Response: Dear Shimotsuki, Thank you so much for taking the trouble to review even when you do have limited internet time. Ariadne is very grateful for your attention! I agree, there is no one way to portray Remus. We don\'t know enough about him to say that only one view is correct. But I must insist that the moustache is wrong! I will be posting the whole of \"The Moon-Cursers\" here eventually, but at present I am writing a new story, so it may take me a while to post everything. Regards, GhV
Wow. This is very effectively chilling. I like diary-Tom's self-awareness; he knows he is a sociopath with no conscience. And then it's very interesting to have that conscience awaken at the thought of stealing Ginny's innocence, even though it doesn't mind the thought of murder. I wonder if this tiny vestigial conscience was part of Tom Riddle, or if it's only diary-Tom's. If the latter, did he acquire it through stealing Ginny's soul?
Author's Response: Oooh, now there\'s an interesting idea! A few reviews down, I rambled a little on how consciences kick in at different points in different people. I really like this idea of having borrowed a little from Ginny, though! Thanks for reviewing!