|Reviews for Sluagh|
| FashionablyHospitable chapter 28 . 1/1/2013
A HAPPY ENDING. Yay. But also a sequel. Nobody die please.
| FashionablyHospitable chapter 1 . 12/31/2012
People are going to die in this, aren't they.
| Emily chapter 9 . 11/22/2012
Ya feckin' hypocrite, Auror! Life ain't more value to ya than to me, ya don't bother that they're dead, ya know they're scum same's I, but just because I'm gettin' a thrill by it and ain't weepin' into me breakfast the next mornin, I'm a monster. How's it a better thing when a man who deserves to die gets what he's got comin' but manages to hurt the one what took him down? Better, ain't it, that the one dolin' out the justice ain't the last victim."
The thing thy scares me about Seamus saying that is, that's how maniacs rationalize what they're doing. Nazis, Death Eaters, whatever. They see the people that they're killing as evil and doing bad and think that murdering or torturing and that like As the proper right Thing to do. Death Eaters saw muggles and muggle borns as a threat to their ideal, as poisoning the well, hurting the wizard populace. They vilified them And saw murdering as taking care of a problem. Substitute death eater for Nazi or any of the awful groups you hear on the telly and look what you've got.
I live Seamus, and whether he was baiting Neville or not, he's got some scary thought processes going on.
| Guest chapter 9 . 11/22/2012
"Ya feckin' hypocrite, Auror! Life ain't more value to ya than to me, ya don't bother that they're dead, ya know they're scum same's I, but just because I'm gettin' a thrill by it and ain't weepin' into me breakfast the next mornin, I'm a monster. How's it a better thing when a man who deserves to die gets what he's got comin' but manages to hurt the one what took him down? Better, ain't it, that the one dolin' out the justice ain't the last victim."
The scary thing for me
| RumbleRoar811 chapter 26 . 10/30/2012
You're not soulessly evil after all! Yayyyy! Sorry but I've been dying the last couple of chapters... Who am I kidding I've been dying since Neville and Ernie were almost whipped to death in DAYD. You have woven an incredibly intricate tale of love, loss and friendship, all surrounded by death and pain. I love it.
| Rebakah chapter 22 . 9/23/2012
Oh and forgot to mention, the scene with Snape is my favorite. Well really Neville going back and having to act again as he once was. It was a spectacular eyeopener
| Rebakah chapter 28 . 9/23/2012
Your portrayal of Seamus is just out of this world. You make a man teetering on the brink of insanity (with some pitfalls) who murders brutally with little empathy likable. Lovable. I found myself routing for him throughout the story. And the friendship with Neville that develops at the end is what we've all been routing for. Putting them back on the same team.
I must admit I appreciate the happier ending. I read DAYD ages ago and loved it, but couldn't bring myself to read the sequel for ages because you make your characters so real that their deaths were heartbreaking. I think we all still mourn Ernie! If Neville had really lost Hannah? Ginny (one of my favorites in your stories though usually not) dead? etc.
On a side note, could you please explain the ending to me? Does that mean Dumbledore chose? Huh?
| khaleesea chapter 7 . 7/29/2012
"They were so different; the plump, bookish youngster who had only survived the battle because he was almost instantly stunned and the tough, high-spirited officer who had according to Ginny at one point held off five Death Eaters at once."
That's another thing: war changes people, and people are unpredictable when put into a corner. I mean, look at Pettigrew. No one expected him to betray his friends, but see how that turned out.
"'Don't say that!' Neville snapped, shuddering. 'Makes it sound like I forced him the way Ulster did me or something. Or like he was my house-elf! Ernie never –'
'I'm sorry!' Hermione flushed, looking a little startled by the vehemence of his outburst. 'I didn't mean it that way at all. I know you'd never do something like that, and even if I didn't know Macmillan particularly well, I do know that he had just as much stubbornness as loyalty. I don't think there was anyone who could have forced him to do anything at all against his will.'
'So what you're saying, Hermione,' Ron cut across the argument as he stepped carefully around the spreading pool of blood to join them beside Utterson, 'is that you don't think it could be him because it's not his wand, Macmillan having nothing to do with anything.'"
I like that it's Ron who's the levelheaded one here, though I suppose it helps that he doesn't have any particular emotional attachment to anyone they're discussing.
"'Brilliant question,' Ron smiled at him, 'actually about to ask that myself. Auror Weasley, Ministry of Magic.' He gestured at the other two, 'Auror Granger, Auror Longbottom – though him you might remember, if you haven't gone completely off your wand since the D.A., Mr. Utterson.'"
Aren't they all in disguise? How does Ron expect Icarus to recognize Neville? For that matter, the Polyjuice only makes you look like someone else. Would someone have to keep redoing the Transfigurations they did to Neville? Or would they stay until someone removed them?
"'Hate that permanent death part,' Ron interjected lightly, 'lots more inconvenient than the temporary kind.'"
This is kind of weird, but I think I unconsciously quoted this once at a kayak rental place.
"He had delivered the same litany himself dozens of times, but Neville remained impressed as always by Hermione's ability to do it in what always seemed to be a single breath and letter-perfect, even the commas audible in her flawless recitation."
Of course, it's Hermione. How could I have ever expected anything less?
"'Tragic how people will just drift apart,' Ron said sarcastically. 'But the thing is, we're pretty sure he's got something to do with this Sluagh business too, and Longbottom and I are really eager to catch up with him. We were all roomies for so long, we've been feeling nostalgic.'"
I love Ron. A lot. I love his sarcasm and wit (though at times he can be cruel and resentful), and I like how you've kept that while still letting him grow as a character.
"Ron looked down at the few remaining bites of the hearty breakfast she had insisted on preparing for all of them and nodded sheepishly, blushing. His mouth was still too full to answer, but Hermione sighed deeply, rolling her eyes. 'His mother feeds him plenty, Mrs. Finnigan, and so do I, I promise…no one's really been able to ever figure out where he puts it. Ron's just a particularly corporeal Vanishing Spell, I think. By all rights, he should be the size of an elephant. I'm so sorry….'"
I just really love Ron, okay. (I'm sorry, you probably expected some intelligent comments, but...) I suppose this is really just another one of my "wow look how well you write these characters" comments.
"'That he is,' Kate's smile was a tight mixture of pride and pain. 'Sent him to a Muggle primary school, ya know, and he'd be fair furious to hear me tell ya, but I kept the note from the first lass whose teeny heart he broke, I did. All in crayons and letters big's your fist, and she spelt his name s-h-a-y-m-i-s but t'point's clear enough: 'ya kiss me and ya kiss Molly and Sharon too and so ya stink lots.''"
Awwww! Just the thought of baby Seamus going around kissing girls is adorable. I can imagine it perfectly. Seamus was so charismatic and likable and I suppose that's one of the reasons I have trouble reading this one, because I love his character so much and I just want him to... get better? To be friends with his friends again? To stop brutally murdering people? Maybe it's that I want him to be a character I won't feel ashamed of loving, and I kind of hate myself for saying that, because I do love his character regardless (or perhaps because) of what he's done and what he's been through.
"'There are only two witches left in the Auror Department,' Hermione replied, 'so Ginny and I always wind up getting sent when the boys have chickened out about an upset witch. Rapes, murdered and missing husbands and children, having to tell witches that their loved ones are Death Eaters or informants…I've seen more of other women's pain and how they handle it than I ever wanted to by twenty-three.'"
Oh, those poor girls. Not only have they been through a ton on their own (far more than they should have by twenty-three), they have to deal with other people's pain as well?
"Merlin, but he'd been young. Young enough that he had mistaken pain for complexity, things that hurt for things that were truly vague in morality."
This is an interesting thought. I suppose the difference is that most complex decisions do hurt, but not all things that hurt are complex.
"Indeed, it was because magic – real magic, deep magic, the kind he'd only felt a few times in his life, not just simple little spells – was so awesome, so humbling, that he did not believe in a religion. It just seemed presumptuous to try and put words or rules or names on it, though he understood why others would want to."
I love all the tolerance that's in your fics. I also like that Neville doesn't believe in a religion: it suits his character.
"Seamus's hands slid down the sides of his head, running frantically over his cheeks, his neck, his shoulders and chest; pressing, stroking, seeking and petting him as his face shone with a manically rapturous light. 'Oh, mercy,' he murmured, 'I thought – I saw – but no, oh, no, 'cause here ya are and ah, what a fool I was, what a bloody feckin' fool, that's what they musta been tryin' to tell me, and I wouldn't listen, I thought – sweet Jesus, Dean.…'
Neville shook his head, trying desperately to regain his bearings. It had backfired, backfired completely. He had no idea, had never guessed that there was anything more than friendship between his two former roommates."
Okay, maybe I'm just saying this because I've read this before and know how it all plays out (and let me tell you that this is one of the most awkward scenes I've ever read, with the whole "let's have sex while one of us is wearing the face of your dead best friend" thing), but... in what alternate universe could this situation have ended well? At the very best they would have captured Seamus, but he would still be extremely angry at them and feel (rightfully) betrayed, so I can't really see him "snapping out of" his crazy murderous state. I suppose it would stop the killing, but it wouldn't help them save their friend.
"It was breathtaking, speaking of hundreds of hours of pain endured to form the ornate patterns that framed dozens of Celtic crosses, each inscribed with a name. Creevey. Patil. Brown. Macmillan. Thomas. Corner. Whitby. Boot. They were all there, every single one of the D.A. they had lost, and the living graveyard was the most beautiful and terrible thing he had ever seen."
Oh, no. I just... Seamus, love, it'll all work out, you're going to be all right, everything's going to be okay.
There's a reason I've reread DAYD multiple times, but haven't been able to bring myself to reread Sluagh before now. This just breaks my heart, it really does.
| bookworm42x chapter 20 . 7/24/2012
I am so confused.
Are Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Harry dead? Is Luna dead? Bloody hell, this isn't canon. I swear I'm not flaming-it's just surprising, because DAYD was all canon and now this is like being dunked in a bucket of cold water. Guess I just have to keep reading. Gee whiz. I wonder how this is going to end.
You're a great writer, though, so kudos to you!
| Guest chapter 6 . 7/24/2012
"Nothing was wrong with the memories themselves, they were even quite pleasant, but they also came with Harry sprawled on his bed, itching absently at his scar and pushing his glasses up on his nose every few lines as he worked at his own homework, Dean with his sketchpad, trying for the thousandth time to catch the sense of motion of the Whomping Willow in Muggle charcoal, and Seamus. Seamus, rosy-cheeked and bright-eyed, leaning over one shoulder and blowing ever so faintly in his best friend's ear until the other boy whirled and threw the charcoal at him, sending him to the floor in a ball of riotous laughter with a black smudge across his freckled nose."
Dean and Seamus are so cute. They were definitely one of my brotps from the books, and I like the way you've written them here.
"Too bad that you would need a Time Turner to undo the accidental smashing of the Time Turners. Really almost funny in a sick kind of irony."
"Really almost funny" is one of my favorite phrases from this chapter. I like that the oxymoron sort of highlights the irony in that sentence, if that makes any sense at all (it probably doesn't). But the smashing of the Time Turners always struck me as kind of weird. The Ministry stored ALL the Time Turners in that spot? I'm sure it wasn't just Hermione that got a Time Turner, so wouldn't some students have had some at the time of the smashing? In fact, what happened to Hermione's Time Turner after Prisoner of Azkaban? It's never mentioned again, and I don't remember her having to turn it in or anything (though I don't have the book with me, so I could be wrong).
"Hermione's saying we still need to nurse this a little more, but I'm going to marry the girl, I've been in love with her since I was somewhere in third or fourth year, I know better than anybody when she actually needs to keep working on something and when she's just going over and over the same stuff because she gets obsessive and scared when things really matter. We're crossing towards obsessive and scared."
I know I've said this before, but I really like the way you've written the relationship between these characters. DAYD had a lot of OCs and minor characters who didn't show up much in canon, and it's nice to see that you preserve the personalities of the trio.
"'I never thought I could want anyone at the end of my wand this badly since your mother got Bellatrix, and I never, never imagined it could be Seamus.'"
Neither did I, Neville, neither did I. The phrasing of this sentence strikes me as a little weird, though. He's never wanted to kill anyone this badly since Bellatrix died? Would it not be more concise (and a bit less less confusing) to cut the phrase "your mother got"? The sentence would then read "I never thought I could want anyone at the end of my wand this badly since Bellatrix, and I never, never imagined it could be Seamus".
"'We're all survivors. Hermione never goes anywhere without a little bag in her pocket that's packed with enough supplies to house an army for six months…even showers with it right by the edge of the tub where she could grab it, not that you ever heard it from me. I don't think I've had a night yet where I've not had at least one good gasping nightmare, and I've only been able to bring myself to go back to Hogwarts the once when they unveiled the memorial.'"
All these kids are now suffering from PTSD, and it hurts because they shouldn't have to. Like Neville said in one of the earlier chapters, being in your twenties is very young indeed, and the fact that they had to go through so much when they were in their late teens... The saddest part is that I wouldn't be surprised if Ron wasn't exaggerating when he says "enough supplies to house an army".
"'…and sometimes, I still want to kill him, but I feel like I should do it as a friend. As a mercy. If he's never actually gotten out of that night, he's still in hell, and there's nothing that the Ministry or anyone else could do to him that would be more punishment than that.'"
Here, Neville goes from wanting to save Seamus to hating him to wanting to kill him "as a mercy". I think this says a lot about his character: that even when he hates his friend, he still loves him enough to try to save him.
"It made the resentment writhe in Neville's chest that the Irishman hadn't even bothered to leave himself easy access to the weapons. He didn't need to…his weapon was the oak and dragon heartstring in his pet wizard's pocket, and the light whistle that skimmed through his lips knew that."
You know when someone starts to annoy you, and then you start noticing all the little annoying things that they do? The stupid way they hold their pencil, the stupid noises they make every few seconds, the way they start all their sentences with "So like I was saying"? I imagine Neville's feeling much the same in this scene, and I love the way you portrayed that aggravation and resentment.
"There, now that he was looking for it he could hear it clearly: the indeterminate buzz of a Muffliato Charm."
I'm not entirely sure why I like this sentence so much, but I really do. I suppose I like the idea of "if you know what you're looking for, magic's all around you".
"His mouth worked for a moment in wordless shock, then he forced out the name of the young man still so recognizable as the fifth-year Ravenclaw from Dublin he had known all those years ago."
Nothing more dangerous than an angry Ravenclaw... In fact, I think I wrote an essay about that once, but unfortunately I can no longer find it. Well, I suppose you sum it all up quite nicely in that quote I'm so fond of: "There is nothing more dangerous than a little too much knowledge and a conscience that is open to debate".
| khaleesea chapter 5 . 7/14/2012
"Hospitals were where hope died."
This has a very nice poetic ring to it. Nothing intelligent here, I just like the quote.
"You disgusting hoodlums, you brought this on yourselves, you're lucky we're better than you are or we would just let him die like he deserves."
That's what I would have thought (however unconsciously) too, I expect that's what Neville would have thought just a few weeks ago. But it's really not that simple, because these are people. Actual living, breathing, people. That's something I think too many people lose sight of.
"They, after all, were beside themselves with worry and vowing revenge, crying and clasping one another tightly, pacing and smoking and swearing and sobbing. His mother was picking bits of almond from between her teeth with one long, brilliantly pink fingernail and perusing photos of Muggle actors with their shirts off on tropical beaches. His father hadn't shown up at all."
Parents who don't care about their children make me mad, even more than parents who outright abuse their children. That's part of the reason I love Terry so much, and I think part of the reason I'm so drawn to Sean. I just want to give them a giant hug, you know?
"It wasn't fair. You had to choose, those were the rules. If you wanted the little house and the kids and the wife who made your lunches, you had to earn them, and if there were darker things to be done, you had to finish them first. If his war wasn't over, if he still felt the need to go out at one in the morning on vengeful missions to gun down laughing young men, he wasn't allowed to have someone who made him an ugly clay key fob that read WuRls bEst Da."
Neville's really far too emotionally invested in all of this. The fact that he does care so much about people is one of the things I love most about his character, but it's going to come back to bite him in the ass later. Hell, he's already wishing he wasn't involved, but he's embroiled in the entire thing now, for better or for worse.
"But the man was too frightened to answer. His eyes were shut tight, and his lips were moving almost too rapidly to follow, the words tumbling over each other in a desperate, frenzied rush.
That poor guy. I would be terrified too, though since I'm not particularly religious I doubt I'd be praying. It makes perfect sense for a RIRA guy, though. Again, details, details.
"'No, but I've learned that this is all way too much of a mess, and that I have no right to make any judgments. I think all this is wrong, I'll admit it. Fireworks shouldn't mean getting shot down in cold blood, and schoolgirls should be able to sleep safely in their own beds. But I have no place to say who's on the 'better' side, and it wouldn't be right to turn in any of you unless I could turn in someone equal on the other side, and after seeing just how deep all of this goes, I don't think it would even matter if I stopped a hundred on both sides.'"
A lovely speech, though he probably should have expected what came after that. I'm not saying he should/could have done anything differently, but he should have foreseen the consequences of his "I don't want to take sides" bit.
"'Thought he'd sing like a choir o' angels, but ah, well, Jackie, 'spose some ya lose. Ya like donuts, or ya fancy a full fry-up? Starved, meself.'"
Killing is so inconsequential to Ulster now, it's kind of amusing in a weird, twisted sort of way.
Though I would hardly call Neville innocent, I think this chapter really shows how much he doesn't understand about people in general. In DAYD, he dealt with a lot of people who were strong, noble, etc. despite being scared out of their minds, and a lot of Death Eaters who had very few redeeming characteristics (if any). I don't think he's really had to come face to face with the reality that people aren't just good or bad, that some things are so impossibly tangled up and confusing that there really isn't a solution, and that sometimes you're forced to take a side whether you like it or not.
| Guest chapter 4 . 7/13/2012
"This, he was informed with almost alarming politeness, was nothing more than a precaution, both so they could identify his body if he were to 'wind up a bit o' a martyr, so to speak', and also, he was told more sternly, so they would know if the marks taken from his hands ever turned up on anything done by the much-loathed 'Taigs.' Double-agents, it seemed, were neither unknown nor exactly well-tolerated."
This reminds me of Ernie and Susan's wedding, when they're talking about how Muggles cut off people's fingers (or something like that, I don't remember exactly). I think politeness can actually be more intimidating than aggressiveness, actually, though I suppose it's a mixture of the two that gets the best results. Sort of like good cop, bad cop, you know? Keeps your target off balance. Anyways...
"They were deepest on the floor, which sloped down to a drain at the center of the room, and he suddenly hated his own magic violently, because maybe he wouldn't have known what this room was if he had been a Muggle, but he could feel it, he could sense the thousands of deaths that had occurred here, and oh, Merlin, but they weren't all animal."
I think that much like the whole politeness thing, not seeing the violence that occurred might be more sickening than seeing it occur. It's kind of like when someone says, "I have bad news for you", and then they don't actually tell you what the news is until an hour later, because then your mind is running through everything that could have happened and oh my god what could have possibly gone wrong, did you leave the stove on, did your parents die in a car crash, did your wife find out about that one time with that one girl in Hawaii, is the country being run over by radioactive monkeys, etc. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that our imaginations can be so much more vivid than reality and the fact that Neville- and through him, the reader- is so affected by the mere shadow of this abject violence isn't strange in the least.
"'There. Now are you going to let me see someone, or am I going to wind up forgetting anything else it might do? I don't handle stress well, you know.'"
"Spinning the wand lightly between his fingers, Neville turned back and sat down on the stool again, smiling."
Neville has grown into such a badass, I love it. He's never been a pushover, but he definitely grew into himself seventh year, if that makes any sense at all.
"...not bothering to greet them before pulling out a chair and turning it around to sit backwards on it, his arms crossed over the back and his chin resting tiredly on them."
Because sitting normally is for losers and squares.
"'What I have learned is that none of this has anything to do with what flag is flying over the capital at Belfast, though, and that not you or I or Hermione or anyone else who hasn't lived here our whole lives has a chance in hell of sorting through who's right or wrong...if anyone is, and I'm starting to really strongly suspect that there is no right side to this disaster.'"
This basically sums up how I feel about all of this (and, for that matter, about most such political disputes). There are always extremists on both sides, and they're often... well, extreme, both in ideology and behavior. They make choosing a side even more complicated. I mean, if you support a party or a particular view, are you also condoning the behavior of the extremists within that group?
This whole situation sort of reminds me of Barty Crouch Sr and the way his story parallels that of McCarthy and the Red Scare, though I'm not sure that any of that was intentional.
"'They were throwing the fireworks into the girl's dorms, deliberately terrifying and torturing fourteen and fifteen year old girls just because they happened to be Catholic.'"
It's so easy to ignore this kind of stuff when it's happening somewhere else, when it's just a news report or something you read about in history books. Though I knew a little about the Troubles before reading Sluagh, I mostly associated Ireland with leprechauns and shamrocks. I realize that I've been incredibly sheltered my whole life, and I just... want to be less ignorant of the world, I guess. I want to learn about our history and our mistakes so that we can try to do better in the future, and I wish everyone else did as well, but most people I know don't. And that makes me really, really sad.
"'Neville, that's not the point!' Hermione's voice was alarmingly shrill, and Ron winced. 'You used magic right out in the open with a group of Muggle terrorists? That...that...that...' she sputtered in horror, trying and failing to find a way to describe how badly he had broken the rules. 'That is not good!'"
There's the Hermione we know and love! Your characterization is perfect.
"Two pixies with one hex, I love it."
Again, it's the details that matter, something that many people forget. Speaking patterns, word choice... they're all important, and you do a good job of keeping them fairly consistent. Do it well and most people won't even notice, do it badly and suddenly the reader is jolted out of the world you've created so deftly.
"Mulligan grinned again, and it was, he realized, an incredibly charming smile, deep-dimpled and sincere, making his eyes sparkle and lighting up his whole visage so brightly that it seemed impossible that this had been the man making such obscene threats against innocent young girls only hours ago."
"Instead, he looked vulnerable, quiet, and as it sometimes did on rare occasions, it struck Neville that despite his own experiences, being in one's early twenties was still very young indeed."
I like Sean, though I don't really want to. I suppose this is another one of those gray areas that comes with a situation like this, which reminds me of Snape in a way. Snape was an asshole who did some very good things, but I don't think that those good things make him any less of an asshole (though I wouldn't call him a bad person). Sean seems like a nice guy who does some very bad things, and I don't think that they necessarily make him a terrible person (though I wouldn't call him a good person). Of course, I'm not excusing the things that he does- as Dumbledore pointed out in Chamber of Secrets, it is our choices that define us- but I think that under different circumstances I would like his character a lot.
"He had never really given much thought to the fabled 'English reserve', but he was beginning to see that it wasn't just his ex-roommate who wore his heart so readily on his sleeve, but rather the entire country."
This is an interesting thought. I've never really experienced it firsthand, but I can easily imagine how all these people from different cultures could find each other unsettling.
"'Oh, Jesus wept, Jackie.' Sean's head dropped forward with an exaggeratedly sorrowful shake. 'What've they done to ya out there in the Queen's bollocks o' Yorkshire? Ain't ya ever been out?'
'I guess not," he shrugged.'"
It's funny because he really hasn't had much experience in all the "normal" teenage activities, has he? Too busy fighting Dark Lords, that one.
"Sean was himself now clad in an identical sleeveless white undershirt with pair of blue jeans so tight and yet tattered that they appeared in imminent mortal danger of thread-splitting demise..."
First, with the boring grammar stuff: "with A pair of blue jeans". Second, I really love that description: "imminent mortal danger of thread-splitting demise". Gorgeous, really.
"...then vanishing into the writhing pack and returning again sweaty and beaming and bragging of short skirts and no bras and more euphemisms than he had ever imagined the language capable of producing."
A ridiculously accurate description of clubbing.
"''S funny now that I ain't gonna get meself raped, 'tis,' she giggled, then bent down quickly, her slight body wiggling oddly in the shadows before she straightened again, reaching out to press an astonishingly tiny scrap of lace and thin satin strings into his hand."
I like Laura, she's sweet (and rather useful later on, if I remember correctly).
| khaleesea chapter 3 . 7/8/2012
"'Right here,' Susan's voice was equally colored with amusement and concern, perpetually outrun by a four and a half year-old that makes me feel like a crone sometimes…but what's going on, Neville? We didn't get any word you were coming, and you're scorched.'"
Are we missing a word here, or just the quotation mark?
"'It'll work itself out,' Neville assured her gently. 'She's still a baby…my Mum and Dad were my imaginary friends at that age, and I think I've turned out okay. You've done wonderfully with her, you really have.'"
Oh Neville. Sometimes I forget that he's been through a lot not just with the DA, but with his parents and his terrible self esteem and everything, but then he says something like this and it's just a reminder of what he's been through and how he's grown from that small, scared little boy who didn't want his friends to lose any more points for Gryffindor.
"'And if Seamus turns out to be innocent, he can hide here too until you can prove it. I'm not going to put my daughter and I at risk if he has gone mad, but if he hasn't, I don't care how long it's been since we've seen each other; he fought beside us, he fought beside Ernie, and that will always mean something to me.'"
On my list of characters I never expected to love as much as I do now: Susan Bones. She's strong and loyal and wonderful (plus an amazing politician, of course, but I don't think we've seen that yet?). She has a huge heart but she's also practical and knows her limits. I also really like her and Seamus (but more on that later, after they actually get together).
"The dragon winked, then vanished like smoke, and Cecily's voice came with the gravest disapproval a four-year old is capable of from beneath the table. 'I dunnae like dragons none. T'scare me. He cannae come here, Uncle Neville.'"
Cecily is actually the cutest character, not gonna lie. It's very easy to make a child like this annoying, but instead Cecily's very... relatable? I don't know, but she's matter-of-fact in a way that only a child can be, and she doesn't make a fuss, which I suppose is really what makes her cute instead of obnoxious. I don't really know what I'm trying to say here, but I hope my thoughts are at least somewhat coherent.
"'Merlin's beard, Neville, you nearly gave me heart failure! Warn a bloke if you're gonna show up wearing someone who's been bloody demised for five years, will you?'"
I really like your Ron. You make him funny without reducing him to comic relief, which is quite nice. The phrase "show up wearing someone" really amuses me for some reason, not really sure why.
"He took the flier, smiling as he saw the hand-drawn map on the back that labeled the surrounding streets according to their containing 'pubs,' 'shopping,' 'more pubs', 'pubs and restaurants,' and 'even more pubs.'"
Ah well, Ireland, what do you expect.
"'There was big argument two days ago with our big Texas cowboys. They have another thing there they call football. Is not, but most of us just let them be crazy, yes, because they can't help it. Best probable you not get into this.'"
I like how everyone just like "Americans, those nutters". Well, it's true, I suppose...
"'Government say everything okay, yes, but still sometimes people get hurt because say wrong thing to people not let go, still….'"
And here we are back to the more troubling aspects of this story.
"You cannot ask for freedom, you take our freedom away
You cannot ask for justice, you murder day by day
You told the world your story, you lied at every turn
You never said you're sorry, for the terrible deeds you've done"
That's quite good, did you write that? It's sort of just a one-off thing, something I didn't really pay attention to the first time, but again it's the little details that add a layer of depth and realism to your world.
"'Sort o' a third side to the Troubles, they are, and a new and bloody business 'tis.'"
I think I've touched on this topic before, but this is really one of the things that makes this so terrifying: the fact that a lot of this is real, with the Troubles and all that. It's not just something that can be dismissed as fantasy, you know?
| khaleesea chapter 2 . 7/7/2012
"He thanked the owl, offering him a small tip for the late hour, but it was declined with a crisp little hoot..."
I love the little details you scatter through this.
"The shift was subtle, barely perceptable, but conversations had become softer, there was a different feel to the air, and every hand was now within easy access of a sleeve or belt, several thin spindles of wood lying steadily on tabletops beneath their owner's fingers."
This sentence is gorgeous. The feigned casualness is portrayed very well- convincingly but not overdone. (A minor thing though: shouldn't it be "perceptible"?)
"This man had a primal, feral feeling about him, he carried the smell of peat and smoke and blood and wild sea air, and a shiver ran up his spine as he thought of the night he had perhaps first glimpsed the edges of this transformation in a drift of snow and a bloody shoulder."
Here we have a pronoun problem. The first part clearly refers to Seamus, yet "... a shiver ran up his spine" is talking about Neville. Also, I think the "perhaps" sort of disrupts the flow of the sentence. What if you broke the sentence up into two? "This man had a primal, feral feeling about him; he carried the smell of peat and smoke and blood and wild sea air. A shiver ran up Neville's spine as he thought of the night he had first glimpsed the edges of this transformation in a drift of snow and a bloody shoulder." Of course any changes I suggest are merely that: suggestions, and whether or not you choose to incorporate them into the story is entirely up to you.
"'I remember,' Neville said softly, 'an Englishman who gave a lot more than half a shit for the Irishman who sits across this table now saying things that I think I should probably be insulted by after making him my Lieutenant and calling him my friend through the worst year of my life.'
For the first time, the blue eyes softened, dropped, and a flush passed briefly over the pale, freckled cheeks. When he looked up again, there was a new openness there, and he felt like he could reach out and touch the ghost of the boy he'd once known behind the near-invisible lashes that glimmered gold in the warm light. 'Ya did, and I'm sorry for lumpin' ya in with dogs…you're a good man, Neville Longbottom, and know that I love ya and ain't never quit lovin' ya as brother and comrade for that damned year.'"
"'This is speaking despite being his friend,' Neville retorted firmly. 'I'm the last person who wants to say that man's lost his mind: we were the only wizards left in Gryffindor that year, and he's the closest thing I'd say I've ever had to a brother who lived through that night...'"
You write friendship very, very well. The relationship between these two is extremely complex, and I think you do a very good job of portraying it. Both feel like they have no choice but to continue on the path that they're on (well, that they're making the best out of a bad situation, at least), even if they have to confront each other in the process, which is the last thing either of them want to do.
"It was something he had forced himself in practice with Seamus of all people to recognize even in his sleep for fear of Snape and the Carrows, and it was that vigilance that saved him now."
It just makes me sad to see how much their relationship has changed, how much they've both changed. (This is sort of unrelated, but whenever anyone mentions the Protean Charm, it reminds me of Terry in Order of the Phoenix, which always makes me sad)
"... I don't much fancy the idea of it becoming the next spot on the list for my pyromaniac ex-roomie."
An incredibly apt description of Seamus indeed, and one that definitely made me smile.
"'They need to do that in their bleeding bedroom if they're gonna give me a key to the flat,' Ron muttered, and Neville chuckled.
'Okay, won't mention She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Shagged.' He dodged Ron's only half-playful right hook, then took a deep breath, bringing himself back to the reality of their situation as he flexed his hands..."
"'Course I am,' Ron nodded breezily. 'Finnigan's deranged. Riddle's just decomposed. Tell me what bothers you more.'"
One thing I really like is the little moments of humor in a story that is much darker than the previous one. It really helps to add a touch of lightness, without which I'm not entirely sure I could have gotten through the entire thing without becoming overwhelmed.
| khaleesea chapter 1 . 7/7/2012
Alright, let's get this started, shall we?
"... they need to start issuing you boys helmets,' Hannah pulled back her hand"
This is a really minor thing, but shouldn't it be a period after "helmets"?
"'Clearly,' she laughed, 'you have never dealt with a toddler, dear.' ... 'They're much worse than Death Eaters.'"
Very true! To be honest, children terrify me. I love the whole dynamic between Hannah and Neville in this scene. I admit that at first I was really skeptical about the whole Hannah/Neville relationship, but now after reading DAYD, I've come to appreciate both characters a lot more, and I think they really balance each other out. At first glance, Hannah seems to be the soft, motherly figure, but after we get to know her more she really reminds me of Mrs. Weasley. She wants to keep the people she loves safe, yet at the same time she acknowledges the importance of the war and helps out to the best of her ability (which is considerable, don't get me wrong!) Neville is strong in a more obvious way, but he really relies on Hannah's love and support to keep him from pushing himself too far.
"Slowly, he nodded, and he hated the voice of the Auror, the Commander, the soldier who spoke and fought and had far, far more hold over his life than he had ever imagined or wanted, but that he couldn't walk away from, hadn't been able to walk away from since fifth year. The nightmares had walked through laws and stone cell walls to escape into reality then, and there was no allowing for dreams until they had all been returned. So he did what he had to do, not what he wanted to do, and even in this, there was really no question. 'If it comes to it, no, I won't pull the hexes. It's my job to run him down.'"
Oh Neville. All of these kids were put through so much, it's actually insane. I'm reminded of Mike and Terry in their final moments, how they didn't think the battle would last more than an hour because surely an hour was enough to make their point, surely an hour was enough to get people to finally wake up and send help. And it wasn't. The entire Wizarding World did nothing but sat around and watched as Death Eaters slaughtered their children. Even if you make the argument the British Wizarding Government was under Death Eater control and so was powerless to help, what about the rest of the world? What about America, whose people pride themselves on being free, what about all the other European countries, what about all the witches and wizards in Africa and Asia? I can't really blame Zach for leaving the DA, I really can't, because these kids should not have had to go through all this and I love and respect them all so much more for it. *ahem* Moving on...
"I mean, a proper Auror would have had you on the record and drilled you this afternoon, and here I am thinking that those peas in the stew must have been locally grown, and wondering how it was done so early in the season."
I love Neville, I really do. He really understands people, he takes the time to get to know them. He's a much friendlier protagonist than Harry ever was (not that I really blame Harry for that, but that's a whole 'nother conversation there) and in turn people open up to him and we get to know a lot of people much better for that.
"She grabbed his chin in her hand with shocking strength, and her green eyes stabbed into his from only inches away, her warning the feral growl of a mother's protection, more dangerous than any wild beast. 'But if you've lied to me, lad, if ya betray me son, your last hours'll be spent wishin' you'd never been born to this cold world.'"
I'm really starting to like Kate here. I understand where she's coming from, you know? War screws up even the best of us, and I'm not at all surprised that it's Seamus who's begun killing and mutilating people. Nevertheless, having literally grown up with Seamus as well as the rest of the gang, the last thing I want is to see him in jail.
"'Actual cause of death was a single knife wound to the left ventricle of the heart, eight-inch blade, single edge, inch and a half wide, but the poor bloke was probably grateful by that point. Approximately fifty pre-mortum incisions of various depths and lengths over the arms, legs, and torso, carefully avoiding major arteries. I say approximately, because there was a lot of overlap and we can't really be sure. Complete flaying of the interior left forearm, with the removed section of the dermis and accompanying Dark Mark found in the victim's stomach, undigested, but bearing evidence of mastication. Victim's wand had been snapped in half, both pieces were located in the rectal cavity, with evidence that would indicate forcible pre-mortum insertion. Sluagh burned into the forehead. No defensive wounds or evidence of resistance, no head trauma, no ligature, no potions or toxins and a relatively low amount of alcohol in the blood. Which means we can be pretty sure of a Body-Bind.'"
Oh dear god. I had to reread this paragraph twice to really comprehend the horrific nature of this. No one deserves this, not even a Death Eater.
"He hadn't spent the last year of his childhood and the first year of his adulthood preparing to die because they were alone, abandoned, completely betrayed by everyone and everything that should ever have protected them, breaking their hearts and their bodies and their innocence to try and spare the very youngest from what no one had spared them. Seamus was just continuing that fight, bringing vengeance to those who had evaded the supposed protectors of people as desperate and hopeless as that eight year-old with the knife. "
This is really the core conflict throughout the entire story. It's terrible, it's sad, and it's real. It's everywhere, not just in stories. And that, I think, is what makes Slaugh so terrifying, why it affected me more than DAYD ever did. It's real, even today, no matter how much we try to ignore it.