Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2016.04.10 - 07:09PM Title: Soul Skulduggery
A lot of very interesting conversations in this chapter. Daphne is somewhat baffling to me. She seems bright and dim at the same time. Teri has quickly become a favorite character. She is so curious and so talented. I am glad that Harry is spending so much time with her and bonding with her as a friend. It seems as though it could be important later.
So, you recall my statement in the story description that 'all Slytherins are neurotic'? By neurotic, I mean that they're all coloufully nuanced with both strengths and foibles aplenty, and Daphne is no exception. She is indeed bright and she is distinctly Machiavellian. If she spends a lot of time being a flighty tart, there may be two concurrent reasons for that -- she may be acting that way because she's been doing it so long and/or she may use it because it achieves her ends. Daphne, Zabini and Pansy all walk an interesting line between good intentions and self-interest; pursuit of that sort of balance is definitely a recipe for a certain degree of neurosis.
Note that in my statement that 'all Slytherins' are neurotic, that truly does apply to other characters such as Ryan, Tracey, Ted Nott, and certainly Draco. Technically, I will admit that Mary-Jo Clark and Lucia Blevins are vanilla characters, but they have only bit roles.
Finally, yes, Teri is critical to the story, as is her relationship with Harry. Harry got involved with her for a reason that will probably not bear out as critical (Occlumency), but is quickly subliminally sensing that all time spent mentoring her is a good investment.
Reviewer: MisterBlack Signed Date: 2016.04.06 - 07:42PM Title: Soul Skulduggery
Ha -- surely everyone does the occasional brain freeze on PPS vs PSS, right? Incidentally, it's not a privilege that I use much, but if a reviewer is embarrassed about a typo or whatnot, I theoretically now have the ability to go in and fix it for them.
Reviewer: MisterBlack Signed Date: 2016.04.06 - 07:28PM Title: Soul Skulduggery
So… let me get this straight - there is a chance that Bellatrix sent some henchman to deliver some tetrodotoxin poison that could not just kill someone but even if they do survive then there is a possibility that the victim could end up as a squib? She did this and decided her target in this case should be Tracey? Really?
Yes, your assessment is correct about the night club incident, as far as it goes. Indeed, it was Tracey targeted. She is obviously not the most strategically devastating potential victim, but are there other reasons for the choice? Keep in mind that the villains in this tale are disconcertingly patient. As far as the implications of the attack are concerned, I assume you have now (or will soon) grasped the third possible outcome, worse than either death or surviving as a squib?
The flag regarding tetrodotoxin came to Harry mere days before the incident. In terms of the writing, I conveyed that a bit inelegantly as the flashback Harry had while racing down to the hospital wing. In truth, a detail in my mental graphing escaped me, in that I probably would best have conveyed the Ryan/Hermione/Harry exchange in real time. If I was writing this in batch form, I would have gone back and added it to a previous chapter, but writing for an audience in serial form, I figured I would go for the quick fix.
Lots of good questions -- some of which are good enough that I'm not going to answer them. Anyway, Daphne is actually a bit more reckless than Zabini in her dealings with H&G; she walks a fine line that could end badly... or else the story may take a bit of a twist in the end. As far as whether she is a plausible target... one can't rule it out. Anyone can be victimised to some extent; the primary targets tend to be chosen based on pedigree though.
Yes, and isn't your comment about Tracey's safety (and subsequent extension to canonical Ginny) at the crux of why the world of HG fanfics is so vibrant? A great many readers were unsatisfied with that canonical plotline -- both logically and emotionally. There's no question in my mind that JKR had love/hate relationships with a lot of her characters, alternatingly building them and trashing them. I read once that JKR modeled the Ginny of OotP/HBP after her own teenaged daughter. I wonder if there was a caustic real-world mother/daughter eruption daughter somewhere around the end of HBP drafting that lasted through most of DH? Might explain a few things...
As far as your speculation about some form of bond with Teri, am I permitted to be infuriating and suggest the possibility that there could be aspects of the Harry/Teri relationship that may never be officially explained?
I believe Hermione's aversion to the term 'zombification' is less a denial of possibility than an acknowledgement that the phrase has a very cheesy connotation in Muggle pop culture. Of course, purebreds would never catch that, but I think it's just more in Hermione's nature to prefer a ter like 'Corpus Qualia dissection'.
Yes, I do exercise a bit of font creativity, because I try to manufacture a bit of media-immersion experience in my stories. This is to say that periodicals and headlines have different fonts compared to the base narrative. Anyway, I think I was part-way through Trix when, after doing a bit of research into the best core fonts for text-focused web pages, I settled on Lucida Sans Unicode as the primary base font. LSU is a little glitchy at the end of italic segments, but otherwise has provoked no strong dislike among readers.
No problem whatsover about the rate of leaving reviews! This particular little comment probably sets a record among my stories for most detailed chapter review ever. Needless to say, I appreciate the feedback!
Finally, thank you for the compliment regarding characterisation! My principle with respect to characterisation is to find a decent balance between these three factors:
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.07.21 - 05:33AM Title: Soul Skulduggery
I was surprised that Tracy as a bloodline relative of Bella was allowed to go on a booze without precautions. Is the Slytherin gang still unaware of the danger or do they not fear Bella? It's good that Tracey started with the Occlumency lessons, even if it may be useless against the attacks. Nevertheless, I had expected that someone has already interviewed her whether she had experienced extraordinary things with herself. Nor do I think that Tracey observed Harry, because she has a crush on him. This may sound funny for the others, but I think that there are other reasons.
All good points! So one over-arching practical problem in all of this is that most of those issues that there is little or no tangible proof that any of the incidents they're investigating are related and really part of a single crime wave. As long as evidence is that thin, there is the counter-argument that to scare people with a highly hypothetical threat is irresponsible and danger. Because of this uncertainty and the sensational nature of the allegations, a risk-averse Auror Department is keeping a very tight lid on the investigation. Tonks knows most of the salient info because she's both a 'victim' and an investigator. Lupin knows because of his privileged relationship with Tonks (plus his alleged status as a victim). Teri is sensitive enough to know about a certain 'bitch' in her head, and sensitive enough to know that this bitch is a real entity and a real threat, but she hasn't really been told that it's Bellatrix. Beyond that, however, nobody outside of a narrow privileged circle has been told anything. This includes Ron, Ted, Pansy, and Tracey, as well as (obviously) many many others. For better or for worse, perhaps?
Harry has many meetings, but does Harry like meetings? Sometimes perhaps... although yes -- as the next chapter confirms, boredom can certainly be a fleeting thing too :)
Yes, Zabini is cutting a few corners with his argument. Daphne is too, of course. She's a bit quicker to seize on responsible compromises, but they are both inherently Slytherins.
You know, I never thought to ask Ginny for her opinion. She surely would advocate for sanity and security, but she is having a lot of fun with the Quidditch too -- I think she values this experience more than Harry, even if she's never comfortable working so closely with Zabini. I think this pseudo-conflict-of-interest would make for an interesting paragraph or two down the road!
Thanks as always for your thoughts!
Reviewer: regdc Signed Date: 2015.07.09 - 04:34PM Title: Soul Skulduggery
I do not write reviews very often; which is probably down to me being very lazy!!
Perfect time to get such an encouraging review! I had just, over the last few days, put in a big push to finish drafting Chapter 9, and I noticed this just shortly after I finished -- definitely feels like vindication of the invested time!
Chapter 9 was great fun to write as it is a bit of a pivot point for the plot. Also, while I'm immensely glad you like my fringe characters (I love to write idiosyncracies, and they're certainly full of them), this chapter is an opportunity to refresh our views on some of the more traditional JKR personalities. They can certainly be fun to write as well.
Anyway, I still have to do a few rounds of obsessive editing, but I have some travel coming up, and that's often a good chance to peck at a keyboard, so hopefully I'll get this in the validation queue soon.
Thank you very much for reading and for your gracious opinions!
Reviewer: Aragorn Signed Date: 2015.06.24 - 04:19PM Title: Soul Skulduggery
Apologies...but I sort of forget between chapters what a good writer you are. That, however, makes for a wonderful remembering when reading the new one...
Reviewer: aimless Signed Date: 2015.06.22 - 08:25AM Title: Soul Skulduggery
Thanks! Long time awaited chapter. I started to forget the plot line )).
Yes, it has been a while, hasn't it? Mea culpa! Unfortunately I have another project (something completely different) which is also competing for my attention, but good old Trixie remains dear to my creative heart :)
Thank you very kindly for continuing to chime in! As an authour, this story's reception puzzles me -- it's actually my second most 'favourited' story, and won a birdie early on, but the readership remains smaller than most of my stories (at least on a per-chapter rate) and rather few people have given feedback.
Ah well, it's not the quantity of the audience, but the quality!
Reviewer: lunagranger Signed Date: 2015.06.21 - 11:09PM Title: Soul Skulduggery
Oh, thank you ! So sweet of you. This chapter is brilliant. Funny and suspenseful. Reading it I realized I was missing your style.
Ah, but the sweetness is all yours, cara mia!
Great that you enjoyed this latest installment! I did sweat over it longer than most chapters, although part of the long delay was incurred by obsessing over the latest challenge story.
Thank you again for keeping up with the saga!
Reviewer: skiutahnum1 Signed Date: 2015.06.21 - 08:00PM Title: Soul Skulduggery
Nothing like going down hill faster and faster but soon they should see the light...as for Davis well she will be ok but it's not going to be easy.....kutgw
Ah, but before they can see the light, they must first see the dark! A key theme in this story is an inability to fully grasp the evil plan they're trying to thwart. This may be because that plan is inscrutable, or it may be because Bellatrix herself hasn't quite figured it out yet either...
Tracey, like many characters, has survived an initial scrape, but are these all just 'tests'? If so, what happens when something happens for real?
I've noticed that the site admins have changed the HTML parsers a bit, so my apologies in advance if my response ends up with bizarre formatting.