Please do not delete
What a good choice of story to feature! (That's how I found it.)
It is rare to find a story so full of love, without being the conventional shipping thing (oh no, they misunderstood each other and don't realise the other one behaves strangely out of nervous love -- and here came a third person in to compete... but horay, they acknowledged their love in the final chapter!).
The style, dialog-driven with many short snapshots from different parallell scenes, is not easy to pull through, but you most certainly do! In particular the talk between two very wise men (Dumbledore and Firenze), who need to say so little to each other, were outstanding.
Reading DH, I was a little disappointed that Harry's love for Ginny didn't play a more central role - instead, JKR used his love for his parents and mentors in the climax (fair enough). Your story gives me full compensation, it's a wonderful way to make their love important!
I didn't even take time to write this review before I dived into your sequel. So, there's a review there, too.
Author's Response: Thank you! I\'ve loved your reviews! This was my first shot at a multi-chapter story and I suppose I thought I was being cool by doing such a pared down version with conversations. You noticed that yes, I did blow it up in the next one and to be honest, I\'m not sure which I like better! :) Thank you for reading both and for taking the time to leave such wonderful thoughts.
I'm too old for this language, but: WWWOOOOAA!
The style is not dialog-driven as much as in Ancient Magic - I guess places and characters came to life inside you? You wrote down what you saw marvelously well! English is not my mother tongue, so I can't review language, but I know it was good enough to let me feel with the characters and really imagine everything in my head.
My favourite humor bit was actually the description of a hormonal, pregnant Anna Patterson - you write from experience, with a glint in your eye, it seems. Being a father of two young kids myself, I laughed at the instruction to only say "you're beautiful", and small things like Anna's own impression that she put her hands "where her hips once were" (something that bothers the woman more than the man, I can inform you).
My favourite crying scene was when the twelve stones were inserted in the circlet. It was an extremely powerful scene, focused on love between friends and within family, instead of between spouses-to-be. Wonderful tears to shed, that was.
I love your original characters, and your carefully designed plot, which was challenging and complicated but yet credible enough to let my imagination accept it and play along (that is what reading fantasy is all about, isn't it?).
I glanced at reviews and saw some complaints about Harry being out of character... I don't know. I think it could be seen that way because the whole major plot is unlike Harry - the intense research for a year before confronting Voldemort is really a Hermione-way of doing things, and in this story Harry willingly joins the preparations without any frustration. On the other hand, he is growing up from OOTP, where your story takes off in Ancient Magic, and must be allowed to develop differently here than in canon. Furthermore, Voldemort is weakened early on, which gives Harry some time to breathe. Under such circumstances, he may well act as he does in this story, I would say.
I search my mind for a while and actually find a remark that I can write, to give some kind of constructive feedback: Many of the long battle scenes did not catch me, it became a long telling of who hit whom with what (to me unknown) spell in what body part. I don't know if it is possible to avoid, though, and it is not a big problem - I simply skimmed those paragraphs a little quickly, careful not to miss the good bits like Anna's struggle in solitude in the tunnels, or Hermione's confrontation with Snape (thank you for keeping him mysterious for so long, by the way!). And honestly, I think I did the same kind of skimming every now and then when reading canon - I most certainly do when re-reading.
In some author's notes you thank your family for allowing you time for your hobby. Send them my thanks - they were kind not only to you, but to me as well.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a wonderful review! I loved reading it! Yes, when I wrote this, pregnancy was much closer to my mind than it is now a few years later. Some of my favorite moments are the ones you mention, too. Harry is an odd bird - in hindsight, I agree with you that at times his actions weren\'t canon and being a little older and wiser, if I were to rewrite this, I\'d tweak him as well as few other parts. And I don\'t blame you at all for skimming! :) This was a great experience and I grew a lot as a writer. Thank you for letting me know I grew in the right direction!
Hello from the reverse-order reader.
Having read the sequel, which worked magnificently on its own, I of course had to check this underlying story, and I was not dissappointed! Not many manage to give Harry wand-less magic capacities and other assets, and still keep the tension to the end, but you most certainly did! Knowing the sequel of course helped me through many of the almost-deaths and cliff-hangers, but I can see they were very well written, leaving the reader in some doubt all the time. And how you were going to take yourself out of the Mind's Eye chapter I just couldn't figure, but what an elegant solution!
Praise, praise, praise - and one remark: squeezing information out of Malfoy was written as a prank event, enjoyed by essentially the whole Order, but I found little difference between this and plain torture. To me, the general laughter contrasted a little bit strangely with the very strong descriptions you had of Harry's and Ginny's reactions after their first killings in combat.
Still - wonderful work!
Author's Response: What are pranks to children if not torture? Still, I see your point and it makes me wish I\'d done things a bit differently. I do not condone torture in any circumstances, and I certainly don\'t think it\'s funny. I\'d change it, but it\'s a bit late for that. I\'m glad you enjoyed the story otherwise, and I appreciate you letting me know honestly what you think. Thanks! =)
Any suggestions for your future writing? That would be to continue write!
I have just finished reading the epilogue and find it hard to express all strong emotions in words. I fight back a desire to fill the review with capital letters and triple exclamaion marks, and just give you two simple words, that come from a very sincere heart:
I just got myself an MNFF account just to be able to review this marvellous story. It's incredible! The plot takes unexpected turns, but once they happened, I immediately accept them. How you manage that, as well as the interesting character developments, in a story that (so far) takes place during a few hours, is amazing! I
Without glancing back, I pick out a favourite scene: when Harry encourages Ron to apparate ("you can do it. For Hermione"), their relation is almost like the one Dumbledore and Harry has had before, only now Harry is the wise one, recognizing love when he sees it, and putting faith in his nervous "apprentice". One little dialogue line expressing so much - wonderful!
I won't push you on rapid updates, I guess you want to update as soon as you can. Just another review telling you that many enjoy your work.
I started saying this story is incredible. Let me top that: it's credible!
Author's Response: *feels honored* I\'m glad my story inspired you to get a MNFF account. Thanks for taking the time to leave this lovely review! I agree, that is one of my favorite moments in this story. For me its the little lines and interractions between the characters that mean the most. Updating soonish =)
So, this is the result of a major writer's block? Feel free to have more of those!
I can understand that you started in the R/Hr category - it is their relation that really evolves during the story, but the way Harry's mere presence kept Ginny alive was extremely emotional to read, and the new category works just as fine.
You should be more than happy about this chapter!
The way you keep Snape mysterious is perfect.
In the DH, I expect Harry to unwittingly solve some impossible situation with unprecedented magic emanating from love, a little bit like his trick to cast of lord Voldemort by thinking lovingly about Sirius at the end of OOTP. You gave me a strong teaser about that - involving Ron! Action aside, his wandless explosion was a wonderful way to describe how his feelings have deepend (at least that is how I interprete it).
I have truly enjoyed reading this fic, and you tie all ends up beautifully in the end. With Ginny secretly married to Harry and imperiused by Vodemort, one of them indeed had to die at the hand of the other - brilliant! I think you did the prophecy more justice than DH (you know, with Voldemort protected by a horcrux in Harry's head and Harry protected by the blood flowing in Voldemort, the prophecy could actually have read "neither can *die* while the other survives", couldn't it?)
I can see that you needed the marriage to fulfill the "hands of the other" bit, and the Gompega to force Volemort to the imperius curse. Personally, I could have enjoyed the story even more if the Gompega hadn't been accompanied with so many other powerful tools - apparition anywhere, wandless magic... the more of an underdog the hero is, the more exciting it can be (your own "Stolen past" is the best possible example of that, by the way!) But when Voldemort tricked them to the grave yard in Godric's Hollow and then imperiused Ginny, he had the kind of initiative I prefer, and it helped me understand that the good side had been in trouble all along.
All your original characters were well formed, with different nuances, and all canon characters felt right in place.
Wonderful story. Be proud!
Author's Response: Thank you very much! I\'m really glad that you liked the way everything was tied up at the end. You know, I really did start rethinking the Apparition everywhere and the wandless magic and stuff later on, but I was already way too far into the story to get rid of it. This was actually my first ever fanfic (despite the fact that I\'ve finished a few others while this one was still in progress), and it shows in those sorts of details. Back when I started writing this, I was bothered by some of the arbitrary blanket statements made in canon (you need a wand to do magic even though the magic is in the person, you can\'t Apparate or Disapparate inside Hogwarts, the Killing Curse is unblockable, etc.), so I came up with the idea of Magical Myths to explain them and how to get around them. In hindsight, I can see that JKR probably included those sorts of things to give herself some working room for creating dangerous situations. So yeah, I totally understand what you\'re saying about that, and I\'m really glad those sorts of things didn\'t ruin the story for you. I\'ve learned a lot just from the process of writing this story, and hopefully it will make what I write in the future even better. Thank you very much for your kind review; I really do appreciate it. :-)
A fitting ending to a very good story! Those kids are going to have some well-deserved fun, aren't they?
I have followed this story silently, but with joy. I actually haven't read your preceding story yet (but now I will, of course). The reason I have waited is that I felt you gave the needed hints and clues with just the right timing anyway! I fully enjoyed being puzzled and then given a clever explanation after a while! Very well-structured plot with so many inventive elements (like Stan actually being a death-eater!). It felt like excellent language as well, but english is not my mother tongue, so my vote doesn't really count on that one.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for reviewing! You\'ll have to let me know what you think of Mind\'s Eye when you fninish it. I appreciate your feedback; I tried to have good plot structure and plan things out in advance. Still, to be honest, many of the best plot points were created on the spur of the moment. I\'d just start writing and then realize that something cool would happen if I kept going, and it would look like I planned it all along. I tell you, it\'s pretty exciting when that happens. =)
What a clever story! I particularly like that Neville improvised so well - he most certainlly did the most of his temporary deafness, something he could not have planned.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review. Glad you liked it.
Eagerly reading through the QSQ winner stories (congratulations!), I had to stop for a long while after yours. Simply because I had to process it and restore my emotional balance - it went on a roller-coaster ride during your story.
I love your portrait of Ron in the first chapter, he has just as much of wisdom and insight as he can without falling out of character. The twist that the discussion was more about Harry's judgement in a crisis than about Ginny's safety deepend my interest in their discussion (and by then I didn't even know it would be the main theme of the whole story!).
The second, dystopic, chapter was absolutely brilliant. You have a marvelous feeling for how to delay important information. When Ginny first drops som numbers (17, or 12, or 20, or 5000) it just sounds as she wants to reduce her own importance, but by the end of the chapter, I realise that every number was carefully chosen.
Poor Ginny, she is "doing a Harry", blaiming herself beyond common sence, and there is no-one close enough left behind to bring her back... you make it plausible, and I cried, I cried.
Your dark vision of muggle medicine evolution in the future is also plausible, which is horrifying enough.
Final chapter: Again you show how well you master the timing in revealing information. The fate of Philippe, the new Minister of Magic, the crying girl in the statue... and more I don't recall precisely enough to mention. Maybe, maybe, I could join those who find your treatment of Petra White confusing. You have a nice autrhor's response about Weasley clan continuation, with love arising again. I could have needed a bitter comment predicting or even whishing the opposite from Ginny in the previous chapter (after all, her strong Weasley kind of love caused disaster in her own eyes), to include Petra more in the main story. Difficult to do wihtout getting melodramatic, though.
Author's Response: Thank you, thank you, for that very thorough and flattering review! I was honored to be nominated for the Quill, and very pleased to get the Runner-Up award.
To me, writing is all about reaching other people, and so your emotional response to my story means as much, or more, to me than the award does. It\'s very gratifying.
About Petra, I completely understand the perspective of readers who find the incipient love story a little out-of-place. I chewed my lip for a long time over that one, and asked the advice of a lot of friends, before including it. I almost ended the story with Georges-Jacques crying before the statue, imagining a cinematic shot in which the camera pulls back, showing him alone among the crowd to have this reaction. I think I would have been a little dissatisfied with either solution.
Thanks again for your kind words.
This is a wonderful portrait of Salazar Slytherin! After Chamber of Secrets, it is difficult to see him as something else than a medeival Voldemort, but you give an alternative. Voldemort haunts and kills muggles because he enjoys his superiority, while Slytherin feels threatened, truly threatend. It is a very interesting thought - and one of those thoughts that come better to its right in fanfiction than in editorial form. In particular when the fanfiction is well written!
Author's Response: I am very glad (2 months later and all) that you liked my characterization of Slytherin. I just couldn\'t believe that the others would be friends with someone as psychotic and evil as he is usually portrayed.... but there was that whole Chamber of Secrets thing, so his negative image couldn\'t just be blamed on cruel history.
You have created four wonderful portraits, and the twist that their strengths failed them all is beautiful. How I enjoyed reading this!
"James Sirius Potter, it is the judgment of the Wizengamot that you have been found guilty. You knowingly, in possession of sound mind and body, used the Cruciatus Curse and the Killing Curse in the intentional torture and murder of one Gregory Goyle the Third."
James Potter was going to Azkaban for the rest of his natural life, and his whole family was in shambles. His wife and child have fled the country, his sister was missing, and his parents were a wreck. However, James knew that he had larger problems: his guilt was coming more and more in question.
Though he knew that James was withholding information about the circumstances of the murder of which he had been found guilty, Harry had secrets of his own; however, even he could not handle this torrent of trouble alone. Can Harry trust his darkest confidences to anyone? Even family?¬†
How will the Potter clan stop the downward spiral into pain and disaster, and can they recover what they've lost?
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Next-Generation Story.
This first chapter of your first fic gives a very, very good first impression! And second...
Very interesting start! Will read what is already posted as soon as I can!
Why thank you! I'm pleased that you're pleased. :)
Everything i posted for this story minus the epilogue, but it's in the queue. Hopefully, it will be out before you get there. Happy reading, and if you like my writing in the first chapter, then you'll like subsequent chapters even more, because my writing vastly improves.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you stick with it!
This was great! All chapters have been, though the family-stick-together theme stood a bit still for my tastes. This chapters brings the story in motion again, with Lily and the diary. Good work!
It's funny that you should say that the first few chapters drag a bit, because it's where you meet Albus as he was at that time. You might long for those chapters once you hit the craziness that is on the way. So many things are set to happen, I almost envy you not knowing what happens.
Happy reading, and thanks for reviewing!