Noooooo but she might have been the one with all the answers! I didn't really suspect her (it's never the one who first seems guilty), but I do think she's important in some way.
I started feeling a horrible butterfly in my chest from the very first drips - I could tell it wasn't going to be anything good, but you did an excellent job of building the suspense up to the final moment of discovery. The use of the dripping interspersed with the narrative worked really well.
I'm starting to feel a bit kinder towards Natasha - maybe she isn't suspicious after all...(though maybe you're laughing at my cluelessness right now).
Bill's reaction to the scene was good, and very natural too - I was gripped reading it - it's like one of those gory scenes where you really don't want to watch, but you can't look away either.
Looking forward to finding out what's going to happen next!
Author's Response: Yeah, keeping her alive might have been useful... after all she seems to be the only person connecting the previous victims!
Ah, I'd never laugh at you! Anything is still possible though... Thank you for finding this chapter exciting/thrilling. I was even more worried about this one, I think, because the overall thrill and excitement is what the story is really all about, and if it hadn't worked, I'd have had to rewrite at some point, EEK!
I hope I didn't bring you any bad dreams, anyway...
Oh wow another tense and wonderfully disconcerting chapter. This reminded me a little of Lilly Kane appearing to D and V. I'm trying to work out what clues can be gleaned from his dreams now... or are they just dreams? Gahhhh I need to know more now.
Keep on being fab, Kara.
Author's Response: Ooh yes, Lilly might have influenced me a bit subconsciously... I did feel sorry for Bill while writing it, because he could use a good night's sleep so badly...
As always, thank you so so much for the review! I'm always ecstatic about every one of them :D
*shudder* I hate snakes. They're so evil. (I know I'm supposed to be at one with the snakes but they creep me out - maybe keep that to yourself).
I maintain my distrust of Marcus - there's something I don't like about him. I also think Natasha might be up to something - I hope Bill doesn't get too distracted by her to miss something important. I think I'm suspicious of everyone at the moment. The plot is really coming together and it's very intriguing. I'm also feeling a little creeped out and jumpy at the thought of curses and mummys being about all over the place.
It'll be interesting to see if this turn out to be a curse, a murder or just an accident - not sure what I think at the moment (well, I don't really believe it's just an accident but you never know).
I probably missed stuff about this chapter in this review but I'm going to move on anyway so I can keep reading!
Author's Response: Your secret's safe with me! (and I sympathise deeply!)
If I were you, or Bill, I'd mistrust everyone, too. I think Bill is a bit too trusting, actually... DUN DUN DUNNNN!
No, I wasn't being serious enough there. I'm glad that it's keeping you guessing, because that was what I'm aiming for, obviously, with a mystery!
OH MY! I knew what the dripping was going to be! But arghhhh that was really intense, Kara. You wrote this chapter so well, keeping up the tension, and even though you didn't go into a large description of what Bill saw, the imagery was vivid in my mind and made me squeamish. And so I guess my feeling that something would happen to her wasn't just nothing... okay, I have a new suspect now.
Author's Response: JULIAAAAAAA dream, dreamboat queen, queen of all my dreams! (This always pops into my head whenever I read your name - glad I finally got it out)
Ah thank you thank you thank you. This was actually one of the first parts that I wrote when I knew what the story was going to be about. I actually did this in a very boring class at uni, and got myself all worked up because I tried getting myself into this panicky mood and sort of succeeded, so it must have been a strange sight for everyone else in that class...
Yeah, sadly, it wasn't her. I would have loved to reveal her as the unhinged psychopath that she definitely had in her, with a great big scene of screaming in the end, but it was not to be...
Find him like that? Or push him down there? Hmm...though maybe it's too obvious that the woman who threatened him would be the one to kill him. Still, I'm glad we have our first death - now the real mystery can begin. dundunduhhhhhhhhh
Good writing for the *ahem* other matter as well. You built the mood well and I think it all flowed nicely. Bill really is a bit of a player isn't he?
Author's Response: Ah, that's the problem about mysteries in general... the reader always knows that it can't be the first person that the detective seems to suspect... Then again I once read an Agatha Christie mystery in which the first very obvious suspect really turned out to be the murderer in the end, and that really was the giant twist... because you sort of felt like dismissing her from the first moment, since it couldn't possibly be her. There were some more cover-up tricks and diversions involved, but still.
Ah yes, he is, but a player with a heaaaart. hahaha. You know that I was very unsure and nervous about this scene (and I'm still glad that I cut so much of it), but I also felt that the story needed it, structurally - as stupid as that sounds. It's kind of the point of ultimate peace before it all starts going completely chaotic.
Tutut, Bill getting distracted again! Something is definitely up with Marcus and I am intrigued to find out what.
This whole story gives me the creeps (in a good way). There's just something so spooky about curse-breaking and exploring tombs that makes me feel like they could all die at any minute. You write it really well, keeping up the suspense and dropping in the little hints of things not being quite right every now and then. The balance of description and detail about the work, and plot is really good too. It would be easy for a story like this to get bogged down in the details of what actually happens in curse-breaking and be quite dry, but yours definitely doesn't do that.
I realise these reviews are a bit rubbish, but I want to keep reading!
Author's Response: These tombs are such an easy setting, hahaha -- because they're so creepy and mysterious already, and everything that happens in them is ten times as scary and exciting as it would be under normal circumstances. I love them... I'm a bit jealous of Bill and his colleagues tbh. (though not the ones that die)
Aaah thank you so much for the compliments. You know how nervous I was about this all, and it's just such a relief to hear that people like you seem to be enjoying it!
And I'm loving every single one of your reviews, seriously!
It's a trap!!
Or maybe not - who knows - all seems a bit easy to me.
Also, Bill needs to pull himself together and focus on his job and not attractive young curse-breakers.
I don't have much to contribute about this chapter because it was shorter but I wanted to review anyway.
Author's Response: I know, honestly, Bill...
Thank youuuu for the review! I know, some chapters are really quite short, but I always felt like those were the best points for a chapter break...
Ooh, so the plot thickens! We have an actual threat now! I wonder how long it'll be before something happens.
I don't know how I feel about Marcus - I sympathise with him - I think he probably feels to Bill a lot like Ron does to Harry, as it must be very frustrating to see Bill always getting the girls and more money when they seem to be doing the same job. At least Bill is decent enough to recognise it though. There's a part of me that's definitely a little suspicious of him though - his behaviour at the beginning of the chapter was definitely a bit odd. And now we have this mysterious relationship between Mahon and Chubb too - she seems to be a bit off her head, with her mood swinging from one direction to the next!
I love all the descriptive details in the chapter, particularly of the actual process of curse-breaking. Even if you say you didn't research it much, it definitely feels like you have it pretty well thought it in your head and it comes across that you've planned what you're doing and have a reason for everything you write. I can't help thinking that when I look back at the end of the story, there're going to be all sorts of clues in these early chapters that I missed. (I'm a little suspicious now of the possibility of a rogue curse going off, given that they've already missed one (brilliant explanation for the weakening magical energy by the way)).
Now to read on!
Author's Response: Oooh Marcus... I sort of liked showing Bill as a bit more independent from his family, so he sort of knows what Marcus must feel like (though not really as badly because by the time Bill started Hogwarts, his family was probably still a bit better off, and I doubt that he really ever got the full hit of their financial troubles), but he's also managed to be good enough at his job to be okay-off, and not have to worry about money all the time between assignments. And then Marcus is just sort of stuck in that worrying place... Anyway I kind of wanted to show how their friendship works, a bit.
Mmhm, Althea's definitely a biiit unhinged. I think it happens to people sometimes when they get too famous...
I want to be a Curse-Breaker myself -- maybe that's why it was relatively easy writing them, haha! It's just what felt logical to me as I was writing, really. I'm really glad that it's working out so well!
ooh, Kara, what a great start. I get the sense something bad is about to happen - Natasha and Marcus disappearing seems a bit suspicious to me. And I wonder if Althea Chubb has other motives for being there...
You've introduced the characters really well and I definitely think I'm starting to get a feel for their personalities. I like your portrayal of Bill - I've not really thought about him much before but I think you've done a good job and I love his flirtyness and obvious love of adventure and his job.
The little details you've added really make the story, and show how much care and attention you put into writing this - things like the augamenti not working as well in the desert and how the wizards cope with working with Muggles.
I'd better keep reading but loving it so far!
Author's Response: HANNAH you have NO idea how great it was to come home to that flood of reviews just now! I am so so so happy about this.
Yeah, I mean, we don't know THAT much about Bill from the books, but we know that he likes a bit of fun and that he's relatively careless. I still didn't want him to be too careless on his job though, because obviously that would be dangerous, so he does take that part seriously. And anyway, he loves his job! (Who wouldn't, at least a bit...)
I briefly considered making the archaeologists Muggles actually but that would have overcomplicated things, hahaha.
Moving on to your next review now. Love love love you!
I know you were worried about the pacing, but as far as I'm concerned this works well. You've kept the tension but the slowing down means the reader isn't on tenterhooks the whole time so it's not uncomfortable. I know there's a temptation to pile on more excitement (car cahses - rememeber that- hahaha), but I think this works better.
This is a good, necessary chapter which gives us more insight into Bill.
,br> Well done on this exciting, intriguing, well-plotted story.
Author's Response: Ah, thanks for commenting on the pacing. I'm glad that it seems to work out... I tried to use Bill's dazedness, and then the beginning of the new day to slow things down a bit, so that it moves in waves rather than being one dramatic incident right after the next. So yes, thanks for mentioning it and remembering that I was worried!
Thank you soso much for all the reviews. I want to send you muchos hugs and kisses and all those things to express my gratitude!
AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *takes breath AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhh *wheezes.*
You killed my chief suspect! Oh wowoowwowow - I am lost now. i am puzzling and puzzling but not too much because I want to read on. Hmm, is this AU? Could it be that Natasha becomes his wife and not the lovely Fleur? or is she the killer (though how she did for Macmahon when she was being naughty in the desert, I have no idea.
Sorry for the lousy review - I am poo. ~Carole~
Author's Response: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!
Oh I'm glad someone other than Bill suspected her because she was behaving suspiciously! You're never poo but rather very glorious! Thank you for reviewing!
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN
eeeeeep plot thickening
Must read on
Am shit scared of snakes now .... ~Carole~
Author's Response: Like Indiana Jones.
Thank you for the review!
KARA--I am here. I’m on the train, but have all your story up, so instead of leaving one review now and then, this will be as I go along, and then I’ll post the whole thing when I have internet again. I hope that’s okay.....
SO Chapter 1--well this is an interesting set up, isn’t it? I really like your Bill--he seems relaxed, but a good friend, and someone who really enjoys his job and the people he’s with. Althea and Natasha both seem interesting, (why do I suspect Althea is not being entirely honest about why she’s there?) and I’m looking forward to the next chapter. There’s something really nice about this one--the description of the desert at the beginning was just lovely, and you really got a sense of Bill’s love of the place and what he’s doing there. Which, given he goes back to England in OOTP, shows his commitment to the Order, and perhaps Fleur. The description was lovely-=I think it would have been nice to have--like more reminders of the setting during the dialogue around the campfire, if that makes sense. Oh, but I love the nickname Nifflers. That’s nice :)
I LOVE the idea that the Prewetts were good drinkers :) The relationship between Marcus and Bill is nice--it’s a bit laddish, but also familiar and close--the Bill/Marcus (not in a slash-y way) dynamic is kind of similar to Harry/Ron in that it must be hard to be friends with someone who always seems better than you--but I like that Bill acknowledged in Marcus’ shoes, he wouldn’t accept help either.
I love how much thought you’ve put into this. I may have given up on archaeology academically, but I still find it fascinating, and the way you’ve related the two is really thoroughly thought through and interesting to read. But then I’m a nerd :) I also liked the danger of the job, and Bill’s confidence, in contrast to Marcus worrying. OOH Eavesdropping-- have you read Agatha Christie’s Murder In Mesopotamia? This is reminding me a bit of that--in the set up in the desert/ people saying things they shouldn’t (ha, I was right about Althea!)...I am definitely hooked. That’s interesting that she’s so well known, and intelligent, and Roger is not willing to be with her to ride off that/ and she seems to have quite an obsessive side, talking of making Roger hers, and Roger declaring that he’s not her toy. I respect Roger for that
Chapter 3: You started this with archaeologists, and for the first time I noticed that you switch between calling them that and calling them Magiarchaeologists and I’m not sure why. Magiarchaeologists is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s a nice reminder of this being firmly fanfiction (and a very plotty, fun one at that :) ) so keeping it consistent might be an idea. It’s up to you though. Also while talking of consistency, I thought you used Brit English on LJ and AIM but here you’re using US. Or have I just forgotten? And lol at Marcus clearing his throat to return Bill to reality. There’s obviously something there between them--neither are being particularly subtle and discreet, so I’m not giving it long before they’re unable to keep their hands off each other. Hmm...I’m not sure I like hieroglyphs which are not magic being described as ones which “only served decorative purposes.” It seems to demean them somehow, in quite a superior pureblood way which is unlike Bill. Bill can read hieroglyphs though. I don’t know why that didn’t quite twig before--I’m not sure whether to be jealous of him or love him all the more. I love the tension of the three of them being underground, and the danger of a potential curse, and the way you build up Bill’s concentration. OOH gold!! So much gold....This is very exciting...
Chapter 4: LOL at “you never forget your first” and Bill being awkward about it. Oh, this is so exciting. I told you, from the second I knew it was set in Egypt, I would end up reading it. I get a shiver down my spine at words like sarcophagus and Bastet. It’s interesting that now Marcus thinks everything’s fine, he’s much more lax about the rules, and it takes Bill to tell him that. At first I thought he might have been hit by a spell....I like Bill’s attitude to the rules. It’s relaxed, but when he knows there’s a reason, like regarding the sarcophagus, he knows what to do. OH what did he see? Kara, this is so exciting! I don’t read page-turners like this that often, but I am well and truly hooked.
Chapter 5!! NSFW and probably NSF a train, but hey, it’s sunny and this story is fun and I’m happy that I’m going home. Oh, I meant to say--your chapters are such perfect lengths. Enough happens in them that the plot whisks along, and you write so well--it’s really elegant and smooth and doesn’t feel worked over at all, which I think if I attempted to write something like this, it would. It’s really enjoyable to read. Ooh Mahon and Althea. It’s a bit odd that Bill’s known Mahon longer, but calls him by the surname, and Althea by her first. Tea and rum? I will have to try that one day. I love the idea of them exchanging stories around the campfire--it’s such a lovely thing to do, and has this strange sort of power that you get across brilliantly and so simply, with the detail of the moon, ad Natasha and Bill together. WHY is Althea calling to Ragnok’s health? Was it him who Marcus saw? I get the feeling that something other than Natasha and Bill getting together will happen tonight...it seems to be building up to something. Your Bill is rather adorable. At the beginning he’s rather confident and brash, but he’s kind of awkward and caring with Natasha, even though he obviously wants her and she obviously wants him. The sexual tension between them is incredible.
This is so romantic, and beautiful, and lovely! But part of me was thinking making out on sand can’t actually be that comfortable, so thank God for magic and their sense of practicality regarding that. I KNEW something was going to happen--And he’s dead! Hmm I’m guessing Althea either didn’t do it, or had a cast-iron alibi. Oh, this is exciting :)
Chapter 6: That was not an accident. I wonder when they’ll work it out....Marcus is quick -- it’s sweet of Bill to reassure him, even though he has his own doubts. This sentence: It wasn’t until he had made his way halfway through the colony of tents that he realised where most of the members of the expedition that would usually be enjoying calling it an early day had got to. is a bit clumsy. It’s, ha, the first clumsy sentence of yours in however many thousands of words this is, but that’s probably why it stood out so much. It definitely needs some commas, and could perhaps be phrased a bit more concisely. Poor Margaret-I liked her. I like the way how Bill was investigating himself anyway, but is now doing so formally. It makes his position more fixed--and he has a licence to be nosy now--even if the focus is still ostensibly on curses, which is always helpful. OOH I like Stadwell. That’s clever. Incredibly clever on the part of the murderer/ attempted murderer, but also on him for having noticed it. Also he’s right-his job is to state the facts, it’s now Bill’s job to theorise. And I like the way he’s considering the practicalities of how a curse can be designed to target specific people--it’s an interesting train of thought to follow. The description of Margaret being so ill was also poignantly done.
OOH the tap. Did I mention that earlier? It annoys me so much when someone leaves the tap dripping, so I meant to....Oh don’t let anything happen to Bill! The tension!!! And delaying telling us what Bill sees so the horror increases--that was powerful. And god, that’s a rather terrifying image. That last section--Bill’s panic--was just magnificent. UPDATE SOON!!!!!!!!!!! I’m enjoying this so much. I hope this review makes some sort of sense. Alex
Author's Response: Aleeeeex
FIrst of all, I love you so much for this review. I totally wasn't expecting it, especially not so soon, and not something of this length! It's absolutely magnificent! :D
Okay, so how do I respond to this...
1st Chapter: Ah, about the setting... I love writing dialogue, and I think I get caught up in it sometimes and forget the descriptive parts about the surroundings within the dialogue. And yeah, I always wonder whether Bill ever went back to this job after the war was over, at least for a couple of weeks per year.
2nd Chapter: I'm glad you like the dynamic between Bill and Marcus. I really wanted to show that they were friends, without shoving the reader's face into it. And haha, yes, Agatha Christie is probably always going to be my favourite Mystery writer. I love the way her detectives do their detecting, and the character and humanity her stories always have.
3rd Chapter: Yeah, I switched to archaeologists because Magiarchaeologists was beginning to feel like too much if I used it too often. I'll have to think this over and might change it though. OH and thanks for pointing out the Americanism, I'll have to fix that too. The thing about the Muggle hieroglyphs is that to Bill's job, they serve no purpose at that moment. They tell of the pharaoh's life, not of any curses or clues as to where the actual treasure might be, so he dismisses them. I'm sure that under different circumstances, Bill would have stopped to give them a read, but not if he's about to uncover a hidden passageway.
4th Chapter: Haha I was a bit nervous that you'd start picking holes into my Egypt, because I'm sure you know a ton about the country and archaeology, so I'm all the happier that you seem to like it!
5th Chapter: Thank you SO much for that huge compliment on my writing! Especially since we were talking about our writing processes just the other night. I really want this story to be gripping, so I thought for a while about the ideal chapter length for each section and stuff like that. Ah, hahaha it's actually funny that you picked up on the first name/surname thing because whenever I mentioned Althea Chubb's name, I did not know whether to call her Miss Chubb, Chubb, or Althea... The main reason Bill calls Papadopoulus by his last name though is that he's still his main superior. And wow, your gut feeling is good with these predictions! :D
6th Chapter: You're right that the sentence is clumsy, and I actually did ponder over it for a while. The problem is that rules-wise, there is no space for a comma in there, so I'll probably have to rewrite it to make two sentences or something like that... or so that at least there's room for a comma. I like Stadwell too -- he didn't even really have a role originally, but I just ended up liking him as a sort of man of science in there.
7th Chapter: I hate it when I notice that there's a tap dripping somewhere because once you hear it, you just can't tune it off in your mind. Especially when something is keeping you up anyway...
Oh Alex, thank you so much for the review! It made my entire day, and kept me smiling for hours. Thank you thank you! I'll update... soonish. Maybe tonight, actually.
That was GREAT tension! Really, the way you wrote Bill's discovery of Chubb was really, really well done. The "drip drip drip" grew spookier and spookier, until I though - oh no, I hope it isn't blood! EEK!
Now I'm TERRIFIED they will think it's Bill. I mean ACK he walked out of the tent at the worst possible moment.
Don't hurt Natasha.
My favorite one yet!
Author's Response: Thank youuuu so much, Gina!
I'm very relieved that the tension works here, because I've never really written anything very thrilling yet and wasn't sure!
I hope I can update later tonight with some developments in the story...
It's getting juicy now, Kara! What's neat is that you have me wondering too - is there a curse, or is there something more human going on? It could go either way, with so many possibilities. It's such fun.
The bit with the snake and it's fangs was really quite clever.
I'm a bit worried about Marcus still - and now Bill. Not for some curse, but I wonder if he's being set up now. Hmmm.
Keep it up!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review, and all the others you've left so far :) I'm glad that you're wondering!
Kara! This is so gripping. It was another dead night at work yesterday so I read this on my phone and couldn't stop! Everything about it is fab. Your attention to detail and the way you've created the world of curse-breaking is amazing. I have such a vivid picture of everything in my head. You've also set a great pace. So many things keep jumping out at me as clues and it kept me on the edge of my seat just waiting for something to happen. And then when it did... I don't know why but I thought it might happen to Althea but of course I was wrong... I'm not sure why I thought that, especially after the things she said to Roger. Anyway, I really can't wait to see where this goes next. My new fanfic obsession has been found lol.
Oh and. Bill is hot. And his chemistry with Natasha is hot. Basically, this story is also very sexy. But I don't think I trust her yet... hmmmm so many thoughts, so many feelings!
Sorry for this bizarre and incoherent review.
Author's Response: Juliaaaa! Thank you so so much for the perfect review! Wow, I genuinely don't know what to say. Well, first of all a gazillion thanks for all the compliments! I have grown quite attached to this story (especially as a mystery), and it's really great to hear that others are enjoying it as well. I might be posting the next chapter tonight, and I hope that the plot is getting noticeably denser! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, it really means the world to me and absolutely made my evening!
First of all, lovely bit of action for Bill there. ;) I'm wondering if there is more going on than meets the eye, though. And I'm also curious about something - is Marcus okay with Bill going after Natasha? I thought Bill said he wouldn't?
Second of all - yes, the plot has thickened! There's been a few hints, and now someone is ! But...but...where is Marcus?? And that goblin? And who exactly was the old lady telling stories again? I like all your little clues. Very fun!
Author's Response: As you know - at least I think you do - I cut over 1k words from this chapter. They're still on my hard drive and might make their way online through other channels of publication (coughclickysmutcough) but it just didn't really work in the story. Marcus is happy that they found the treasure, because that means he gets his huge bonus etc., so Bill just assumes that he's fine with it now. And it's not like Marcus was actually doing anything about Natasha, and she approached Bill first, and... well, what is a man to do. Haha -- that's his reasoning, not mine. Thank you for all the reviews :) They totally made my morning.
I think something is going on with Marcus. I'm sort of worried because I already like him. Plus I'm curious what he saw, hmmm.
Would it be neat if there really were magical archaeologists out there? You make it so believable. Great research!
Author's Response: Oooh thanks! I'm glad it's believable. I love archaeology, and I think it works together with magic so well. If I find the time, I'm totally going to write at least one or two more stories about Curse-Breakers. Well, Marcus... The thing is, you really shouldn't just go about touching things in an ancient tomb before you've checked for hidden spells :x
I loved how you've really created Bill's work here! I feel like I'm in a Rick Riordan novel (and since I happen to like his books that's a good thing!)
Author's Response: WOW thanks! That's a huge compliment. I'm sure it's not THAT good, but thank you so so so much, even if it's only half true. I hope you like the plot as it goes on...
Hi Kara! This sounds like it will be fun! I think you've done a great job setting up all sorts of little things - the rivalry with Marcus concerning Natasha, the new girl, the new girl and her odd relationship with Mahon, and Marcus's odd behavior (not to mention his back story.) I can feel that all of those things may or may not contribute to a building plot and that's exciting.
I also LOVE how you've fleshed out Bill's job as a curse-breaker. Magiarchaeology sounds awesome! Bill seems very much in character, from the mead to the women, but also a big heart when it comes to Marcus. I already hope nothing bad happens to Bill.
So lovely start, good luck as you continue! :)
Author's Response: Ginaaaaa, yay, thank you! it makes me very happy that other people like the relationship between characters as well. The Curse-Breaker thing... it all just seemed so logical to me, like, of COURSE this is what they do. Maybe in another life, I'll be so lucky... haha Thank you thank you for the review!