very well written, obviously a talented author
Oh wow that was like action movie style action. I like the bit at the end with Heloise using obliviate on everyone but little Emma.
I like how this chapter shows the un-glamorous side of being married to the most famous wizard of the wizarding world. The life of worry and misery in addition to pride in her husband.
::sadness:: Poor Ginny. I feel bad for her.
ooOoOo... creepy. I like that Draco is trying to be a better man and that his wife Astoria is his saving grace. well written. Draco is a complex man. You always hear about the complexity of Harry Potter but I've always felt Draco was much more complex than the one dimensional character he is often portrayed as. His behaviors may have been predictable in his youth but his motivations were far from simple.
Aha! I was RIGHT! It was Draco. :) I've been wanting to read a good After The Battle of Hogwarts Draco & canon characters story! Yay, I'm glad I found one. I've been wondering if he is bad or good and about his family life. I like your fic so far. Keep up the good work.
More food for thought.
hmmm, draco malfoy???
ooh. right into the thick of things! great way to start. :)
Another chapter full of questions and not a lot of answers.
Author's Response: Yes, there are many mysterious layers in this story, but they will be resolved in the end.
And here's McGonagall, supervising Aurors. Now we understand why the Banshee were lamenting McGonagall's passing, though she can't be dead I'm sure.
I love your character analysis of Ron at the beginning of the chapter. Outwardly brave, inwardly petrified. Ironic that you describe his condition at the beginning of the story as petrified. A bit of poetic justice perhaps? And Neville's mental condemnation of Ron's casual treatment of the situation is a great touch as well. Ever since the first book, he can be counted on to stand for the right thing instead of the popular thing.
It's a treat to see the Hogwarts crew reunited for this adventure and I love seeing characters of your own creation there as well. This subplot with the Durmstrang disappearances is fascinating as well. Since the professor who was taken was a werewolf, it's possible all of this is connected to Soran as well.
Neville and company seem to be pretty actively pursued by the Drow, here and later (earlier) in Heidelberg. I wonder how they get involved in this to begin with. Are they recruited by Soran in the same way that Voldemort recruited magical creatures?
McGonagall's attack on the Gorgon was amazing. I can just picture it in my mind, the two colliding with the water and fire, struggling underwater. Really incredible.
I'm really anxious to read the next chapter. Thanks for writing. Great chapter!
And at long last we meet the villain herself. Soran being a woman did surprise me (of course I immediately chided myself for being so sexist), and oh, what a villain she is. Not only is Harry imprisoned, but he's being held in a magically impervious room (great touch with the werewolf blood, now we understand why there have been attacks on werewolves in Europe), and he's being systematically tortured so that she can gain the ability to speak Parseltongue.
The joke, of course, is that Harry is no longer a Parselmouth. That part of his ability died with Voldemort's soul that had inhabited his mind for so many years. Soran either doesn't believe this when he's told her or he hasn't told her in an attempt to stay alive longer. It is certainly possible that she demanded he speak Parseltongue and Harry believes she'll kill him if he has no use value. What a twist.
I love the opening with the Gorgon. We get a brief explanation of ley lines, which does clarify some things about how the ring works, but we get a glimpse into this tank of a creature who is apparently working for Soran for drugs(?).
Soran herself seems to be in a perfect location for one who wants to take over the world. We just heard about Ophions from Ginny in the last chapter and now know that they're not just ancient beings, they're still around and they're tied to Soran, the ring, and probably the Dragon Queen, though we have no idea who she is.
Harry's preparation, bound and gagged with werewolf blood, was a creepy beginning to a psychological roller coaster that was at first confusing, then ugly, then sinister as Soran's interrogation continues. It seems she's developed a cocktail of Crucio and Legillimens to probe Harry's mind to extract the Parseltongue ability from him. I wonder if she's tried presenting a snake in front of him and waiting to see if he'll speak to it in Parseltongue instinctively, the way he did in Book 2.
Soran's inability to accurately reproduce the personalities of Harry's friends became apparent as the interrogation went on, Dumbledore's eye color, Hermione's odd behavior. You described everything very well in what was a very odd scenario to put together I'm sure.
This was a great introduction to Soran. Brutal, vain, and a little dense. Just the right kind of villain. A fantastic chapter. Thanks for writing!
The properties of the ring are continuing to baffle me. Perhaps the magic doesn't take you to a person (Draco to Astoria; Ginny to Harry) but instead to a location. Draco went home to the Manor. Harry's blood takes Draco home to the Burrow. Ginny's blood takes Draco nowhere because he's already at the Burrow. If they'd tried Hermione's blood, I wonder where it would have taken Draco. Do they live with Harry and Ginny at the Burrow? Odd. Anyway. So when Draco mixes his blood with the Ophic powder, he travels to Scotland, which is doubt is the home of the Ophions. Or maybe Scotland was the halfway point between the Ophion home and Draco's home, or some other ratio based on the amount of blood and Ophic powder used in the mix to transport him. It is rather odd. I do hope this is explained a bit more.
I like that Hermione is "dealt with." Such a tidy way to say magically silenced and trussed up so that she cannot interfere in what Ginny wants to keep private. Hermione could be more useful if she were given the opportunity. Yes, she is annoying and wants to go to the ministry, but, much like she did in school, she tends to bow to those with stronger wills. If Ginny says No Way, Hermione will probably just go along with everything without too much of a fuss.
I absolutely love the origin story to the twin's joke shop. It was actually Arthur's potions collection that started it all and the prank locks he would set (which inspired the twins even more) was a great touch. It really gave Arthur some additional layers, especially when you explain that he stopped setting the locks after Fred's death. So sad!
Draco's instinct to respond to Ginny's tears with an embrace is a surprise. He's really softened under Astoria's watch. It's pleasant to see. Harry has already had one child, but seems to be cast in a role where he isn't the dutiful father he should be. This is a thread I'm picking up here and I'm interested to see where it goes from here.
I love Draco's classification of Muggles as ignorant and useless. He does still have that pureblood prejudice underneath despite his many changes in character.
The Banshees' song is puzzling. You use some very obscure language that required some strategic googling on my part. From what I can tell, the Banshee are sending Draco to the one responsible for killing(?) their wean (child of Scotland), which can really only be Professor McGonagal, but where in the world does she fit in this story?
The banshee, as a quick aside, are absolutely terrifying. They're powerful, magically and physically, and seem like they could seriously mess you up. Draco talks about their attractiveness, but it's kind of like the way we're attracted to/fascinated by a deadly shark. It's beautiful in a way, but really scary all the same.
Draco being flung into the Loch of Stenness at the end is a great conclusion to the chapter. Each chapter with him seems to end with him traveling to another unknown destination on his search for Harry. He really has no idea what he's doing does he?
Great chapter. Thanks for writing.
This explains a bit of what happened but not a lot. Who is this McGonagoll, surely not a Hogwarts Professor training Aurors?
Author's Response: Yes, it was meant to show another perspective of the event, not to answer all the questions about it. This is indeed Minerva McGonagall. The chapter explains she is there at Shacklebolt's request to evaluate the new Aurors. Without formal assessments and a proper final year of school, and with so many trusted members of the ministry dead following Voldemort's attacks, Shacklebolt turned to McGonagall, who would be available during a summer session to assist in the rebuilding of the Ministry.
Yikes! And a very loud Ron Weasly "bloody hell!"
Author's Response: Yes, this chapter was meant to be shocking. Glad it came through for you.
We now have an idea where Harry has got to and why. I am a bit lost as to what happened at the end of the last chapter. Where will Draco turn up next. Why is Neville important? All magic story telling.
Author's Response: I'm glad you are enjoying. Some of this is meant to be confusing, but to clarify, Harry is at the mercy of Soran, who believes Harry still possesses the ability to speak Parseltongue. Torture, both mental and physical, is part of Soran's plan to make Harry magically part with that talent.
That was fantastic!!!
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed! The Banshee were particularly fun characters to explore.
still reading! love this story!
Author's Response: Glad to hear you are still enjoying. A lot of twists and turns ahead.
I said a few chapters back that there were a lot of possibilities for this story. Few! That was an understatement. There are an awful lot of things going on here and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the kind words. I would be thrilled to know which story threads particularly interest you. I promise you two things. First, I aim to write a story that's actually worth the investment of time to read (i.e. not just a simple ho-hum Hollywood storyline where plot threads are obvious, cliched and predictable). And second, I promise to answer plot questions through the course of the story. There will be certain philosophical themes that may not be given a direct answer because the point is to get the reader thinking, not for me to give my particular view of ethics or the universe. But anything character or plot related, however nebulous the story becomes, I promise to answer. Knowing which questions are on your mind by the reviews you post will help me to be sure to follow up on your particular interests. Thank you again for your time and thoughtful comments.