Hi, William. I am glad that you have started a new story because a good story based on World War II will always capture my attention. Plus, my son’s name is William, so I am prejudiced in favor of all Williams.
What a treat to see you using the familiar components of the Harry Potter story in such a novel reconfiguration; it reminds me of those children’s books with different animal body parts on separate little pages that can be flipped to produce an infinite variety of fantastic animals. We are left intensely curious about how the familiar story elements are going to be further repurposed. Suddenly all bets are off. This story could go anywhere.
You have flipped the switch on the Statute of Secrecy also, resulting the complete and open co-operation between Muggles and the wizarding community. This is actually refreshing; that statue had a stultifying feel to it, and it is good to see that people have finally come to their senses about partnering their forces in order to maximize their effectiveness. Wizard-Muggle collaboration must stick in Grindelwald’s craw, no?
The timeline of the story needed some close attention to follow it accurately. The story seems to progress by leaps and bounds, part one comprising World War II from 1944 to 1948; then the second part appears to be war-training games on the grounds of Hogwarts in the late 1970’s; part three, the death of the policemen in Manchester, seems to be undated: and the final part, the evacuation of the Dursleys and the fostering of Harry, is set in 1981, I presume. This leapfrogging takes us quickly from World War II to the beginning of Harry’s life, after which I expect time will progress more slowly.
The pace of your story is very brisk, with continuous action. We learn about the characters by what they say and do, not by mental reflections, ruminations, and reminiscence. All the verbs are active verbs. There is an almost total lack of description, but we don’t miss it amidst all the action; it would just slow down the pace, and anyway we’ve all seen World War II movies, so we know what it looks like.
Your writing style is terse, but I like that. There are definitely no wasted words. Here’s a good example: A search turned up nothing. When a wizard arrived, he was able to confirm that they had taken a Portkey out. Now that information could have been expanded into one or more paragraphs, but doing so would not have improved it any.
There’s a lot of imagination in this story, but that has been true for your other writing too, so I am not surprised. You left an enjoyable story unfinished last year (or maybe it’s just in suspended animation); I hope that this story will keep going to its unpredictable end.
Wow! That was strange enough to be very interesting. I've read some pieces that combined Grindelwald and the Nazis but this one takes a totally different view. I'm not sure I've read anything where Hermione and Harry were raised as brother and sister. So now the Grangers aren't Muggles? Hope you update soon.
Author's Response: I think the coincidence of dates (1945 in both defeats) was meant by JKR to suggest some connection between the Nazis and Grindelwald. I had that idea thinking about the "I love her like a sister" line; what would happen in this world if literally true? The Grangers are Muggles. I didn't mention this, but one of the many things to spring from the de facto elimination of the Statute of Secrecy was broomsticks Muggles could fly. The Muggles doing this fly and fight with Wizarding broom combat units, coordinating with conventional aircraft but really doing things a very different way; they either use Muggle sidearms or leave the shooting to the wizards (making their responsibilities navigation, communication and coordination with other parts of the force, etc.). And incidentally, because of the ease with which agents could Apparate in and out, basically all of Britain and the Reich are no-Apparition zones. Important & trustworthy people, e.g. Dumbledore, are given the codes to disable the spells temporarily. What you first saw was the wrong version; I now have the proper one up.