Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.06 - 01:37PM Title: Ex Nihilo
Nicely laid trails! What a wonderful job you have done in this chapter, and I imagine it was a bear to craft! What can I say about Harry and Ginny? Memories and sheer force of will bring them back together, memories and will fueled by sheer, unadulterated love! Outstanding, and very well set up throughout the story! As for the Publican/Harry's victory over his son/ancestor, perfectly handled! Victory achieved with a defensive spell as canonical Harry will do in the future with Tom Marvolo Riddle. So many FF Harry Potters use the AK or Reductir or other offensive curse. As much as I can understand the temptation to do so, I doubt any version of Harry would truly be so inclined! Loved that he gave Tio a chance for redemption, and that Tio regretfully accepts what Tom could not! Oh, not to forget, I notice that Harry does what only the youngest Quidditch player in a century could do, dives and grabs Tio, saving him in the fashion of a Seeker, not a Keeper! I assume that was as intentional as was his victory via defensive spell!
First of all, thank you very much for a thoughtful and very thought-provoking review!
Secondly, an oddity for you -- while I proclaim loudly and frequently how good humour tends (for me) to be like a lengthy tooth-extraction process (seems like I only make real progress on the 4th or 5th jab or tug), my best emotive writing tends to race out torrentially. It may take a while to gestate, but once it's ready, then there it is and my typing fingers had better be ready. I still forced myself to edit fairly carefully, but that was mostly an exercise of polishing, rather than the constant reshaping required of comedic pieces.
Ironically, the little bits of comedy (like Sirius's quips; Tonks' tomfoolery, etc.) typically crept in during those edits.
Odd that. Makes me wish that I had some new story inspiration that I really felt a passion for. The time shall come again, I suppose.
Regarding Harry's use of defensive spells, I agree completely, and I think in all my pieces I've never had him use anything harsher than a stunning spell against another human. That said, in canon, I suppose OotP and HBP were the two stories in which Harry was at his angriest. I opted not to follow Rowling down this path, though, because I wanted to believe that this twist of fate bringing him close to Ginny would fundamentally alter his world view. Anyway, I'm gladdened to have a like-minded traveler to share this all with :)
Oh, and yes -- I hope that what transpired atop the praetorium would let you believe that the Antioch who emerged would be a fundamentally messed-up, but not completely evil, wizard. I have thought on several occasions (usually when responding to interesting reviews) of what it might be like to write a sequel dealing with the three brothers. It might make an interesting character drama, though I haven't yet come across that perfect plot to make it a story rather than a chronicle...
Hope your meeting went well; thank you again for your stirring commentary!
Reviewer: MisterBlack Signed Date: 2016.03.21 - 03:22PM Title: Ex Nihilo
It is amazing how history can twist events and uplift men (and women) that by all means do not deserve it. I honestly cannot say that I can read about the brothers now without thinking of this story. You managed to get what little was said about the brothers in DH and you managed to make a whole story out of it.
Yes, it really is fascinating how history beatifies some people and trashes others. Consider, for example, Richard the Lionhearted vs. John Lackland. Despite being an absentee monarch, renowned debaucher and heavy-handed tyrant, Richard is a great darling of history... while the cerebral, egalitarian John is reviled. A noted documentarist noted some time ago how ironic it was that the one person to inflict history's greatest sack of London (Boadicea/Boudicca) should now be revered in that very same community with a brilliant bronze statue. I suspect the queen benefited greatly from the remarkably open-minded writings of Tacitus who goes to great length to describe how unjustly Boadicea was treated by Decianus, and how awesome and inspiring she was as a leader and warrior. It is not completely impossible that Tacitus's ulterior motive was actually to annihilate Decianus in the court of public opinion, but regardless it makes a fascinating story of just how capricious are the winds of history.
Great to hear that you enjoy this precursor to the Tale of Three Brothers. I've wondered at times if I would give into temptation and spin off a second H/G tale that somehow relates to the eventual predestined meeting of the three brothers, an their subsequent brush with 'death'. Note that I've already (early in the book) tipped my hand somewhat regarding what death might be a metaphor for...
Regarding Hermione, there is nothing in the book that definitively establishes her as a relative. While I don't discount the possibility, my personal impression is that Hermione just can't be left out (even after she convinced herself that she had to be left out). That, but the way (in partial answer to an earlier question) was why she didn't immediately tell Ginny and Harry about her brooch experience -- she was trying to *not* know about the brooch and its effects...
Oh, and I agree that in, an ideal world, having Harry, Ginny and Hermione all together on the same side ought to be an awesome proposition... Unfortunately, as you're finding out, these are not quite ideal worlds. Nonetheless, all three shall be together at the end (sort of) and all three will be called upon in roughly equal measure.
Finally, yes, Hermione did indeed go way out on a limb with the headmaster. Depending on my mood and the time of day, I can argue with myself whether this behaviour is out of character, or whether it represents a triumph of her best instincts (perfectionism; intolerance of fools) over her weaker inclinations (slavish adherence to lines of authourity). I guess the latter proves to be a lot more fun in this instance.
Reviewer: RighT3rantZ Signed Date: 2016.01.25 - 03:26PM Title: Ex Nihilo
Hmmm, interesting. Not a cliff hanger, but a Cliff hanging...or a wall descaling. I have hung at least one Cliff in my time, the effort was a bear.
Once again, at least one of the multiple versions of me is able to ascend to the astral plane upon which you share dominion. The three version of me remain within a slightly awkward alignment, bound together by the brooch that is this story.
Oh and, for what little it's worth, I did (finally, last summer) experience an ersatz cliff, and the rapelling down thereof. Good exercise indeed, though I'm guessing you probably had an experience more strenuous than mine.
Very true that the path to bring the three brothers together would be one of strange twists and unlikely confluences. If there was ever to be a sequel to Splinters, perhaps it would tie that in.
Have we seen the last of the staff? Heavens no! How could I possibly leave you adrift in such desolation? Much mischief left on that front, my friend!
Thank you for the review, Electric Blue!
Reviewer: KateP Signed Date: 2016.01.25 - 02:04PM Title: Ex Nihilo
Just got to read this hot really sick day after the last chapter so did not have time
Certainly not a problem to have reviews drifting in a few days (or even weeks or months) after posting. The reviews that come in within less than a week have the best chance positively affecting the story, but feedback is greatly appreciated at any point! That said, I'm sorry to hear that you've had a bit of stress; hope it all straightens out for you, Kate!
You raise a good point about the other grievances that Hermione could have raised. I left out the issue of Dumbledore being a tacit bystander to the abuse at Privet Drive because if was only at the end of OotP that Rowling ever acknowledges thhe question of whether there's a choice in ending that crap (verdict = no, obviously), which suggests to me that the problem wouldn't yet have occurred to Hermione. As far as Harry wanting a normal life, that is certainly true. It was in GoF that Harry's friends first began to understand Harry's dislike of the limelight. It would thus have been reasonable for Hermione to have brought that up as testament to Harry not automatically wanting to take all this on himself. At some point I may tweak the wording a little to reflect that. Thanks!
How many more chapters? That depends on how much the text swells to cover the bullet points. The approximate answer, however, is 'not many'. The best bet is two.
Anyway, sincerely appreciating the thoughtful comments!
Reviewer: ginnyweasley777 Signed Date: 2016.01.25 - 08:23AM Title: Ex Nihilo
I was so pleased when Hermione gave Dumbledore that dressing down and everyone was on her side
First of all, it's been decidedly satisfying to have gotten such favourable feedback on Hermione's rise to the occasion. It was actually in anticipation of such passages that prompted me to label this as more of a 'drama' than an 'action/adventure'. To me, the very fanciful tale is more of a wrapper around stories of personal growth.
In that light, let me also thank you for noticing what I believe to be a subtle but important development -- the fact that the obnoxious, fractious denizens of Grimmauld Place actually rally around her -- even Molly. There's still bit of twisting to be done in the 1995 setting (and obviously so in AD 61) but people have come a fair way.
Thank you, as always, for insightful thoughts Hannah!
Reviewer: Brennus Signed Date: 2016.01.24 - 03:54PM Title: Ex Nihilo
Loved Hermione telling Dumbledore off like he was a naughty schoolboy.
Great to hear that the exchange struck a chord n-- thank you most kindly!
Based on the feedback I've gotten over time, I think the one part of writing that I'm really starting to get a proper feel for is active-dialogue. That's the fundamental mode I used in the Fuddle Fog / Secrest stories, and is almost always the sort of writing I have the most fun and satisfaction with.
In any case, I greatly appreciate the thoughtful words, and I'm betting Hermione will take heart too!
Reviewer: potternut190 Signed Date: 2016.01.23 - 04:59PM Title: Ex Nihilo
Wonderful to hear again from a wonderful reviewer. Thank you very much for reading and making me feel so good about it all, Tom!
Reviewer: alicia rose potter Signed Date: 2016.01.23 - 01:53PM Title: Ex Nihilo
Well that might not be a total cliffhanger, but I still really do want to know what happens next! You've set up such a suspenseful story that at this point you're not going to have a good ending until THE ending. I both love and hate moments such as this. It points to a good story, one that I've deeply enjoyed, but I've never been the most patient person...yet the sooner you post new chapters the sooner the story is over...oh the conundrums :) Cheers on this chapter, anyhow!
Well, I'd certainly have to be chuffed to receive such a thoughtful review from such a fine authour, as well a busy science/math teacher. I'm remembering that correctly, I hope? Recently I've been doing some informal math and science tutoring of some gifted tweens; makes me think about reaching out to those who do so professionally. But I digress.
Yes, thank you for encapsulating the reality of this story. It is the nature of this beast (unlike TPC or Trix) where there are times when the drama begins to roll and must keep grinding and churning in order to be believable. Hard to find the right place for a breather. Also, there are times when I firmly believe that a chapter end makes the most poignant punctuation. In chapter 15, for example, I think that if I had not ended with Ron slumped on the floor of the bedroom -- if I had instead plunged down the stairs and begun Hermione's drama -- that many readers would barely have noticed that Ron's empathy and sense of decency is finally beginning to grow. Of course, I may be guilty of inducing a couple grey hairs over the tactic...
Finally yes, I do understand your ambivalence about the denouement. Many times I've felt the bittersweet pangs of coming to the end of reading someone's story -- happy for the sweet resolution, but still hungry for more. It is a quandary of readers and authours alike, I believe.
My most sincere appreciation for your kind thoughts, Alicia Rose!
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2016.01.23 - 09:23AM Title: Ex Nihilo
I've just fought my morning battle against the snow and when I came in I found the new chapter you've sent to warm my heart.
Well, first of all, I'll offer just as bit a thank-you for the review Martin, and of course you're most welcome! Certainly does seem to be a rather exceptional amount of northern hemisphere snow, but I'm glad it's not keeping you from your reading.
Sadly, Dumbly-doer did indeed fail again in the standard metrics of heroism. I suspect I am abusing him a bit, although he did inflict some emotions scars on me way back when I read the first half of OotP. At some point beyond the final chapter of Splinters, the man might once again recover some air of nobility (just as he gradually did over the latter half of OotP), but he'll remain in the dog house for a while longer...
Hermione, yes -- surprising. She too had her dog-house episodes in Rowling's world, but in this one she's given her opportunity to shake off the fleas and stand with pride. Okay, not so great metaphor on my part, however I'd definitely cite you for a fine analogy in alluding to the post-DH version of canonical Hermione who is so sought after by a Ministry in such desperate need of house cleaning. So perhaps this is the best answer to my earlier rambling -- that here we're seeing a preview of an 19-36-year-old Hermione who beat sense into MoM dead wood.
And yes, you are definitely correct in saying that there are questions still left to be answered, and I am most certainly not yet absolved from my authourly duties. To which I shall soon return!
Thanks again, Martin!
Reviewer: Shalli Signed Date: 2016.01.23 - 09:06AM Title: Ex Nihilo
You weren't kidding about the grappling hook!
No indeed! It's strange that my conscious mind truly didn't realize how 'cliffhanger-esque' it might seem to have Harry jumping off the top of a tall tower. I truly only recognized the double-etendre as I was finishing my edits.
Anyway, thank you most kindly for reading and reviewing, Shalli!
Reviewer: Wolfs_Scream Signed Date: 2016.01.22 - 11:47PM Title: Ex Nihilo
It seems to me that Hermione has -- quite possibly -- managed to overcome her deference to Authority Figures. Or at least one particular Authority Figure. :-)
Thanks, David, for catching the glitches! I got my act together and corrected them a fair bit sooner than I've been able to respond to everyone's most thoughtful reviews -- sorry about that! Interested that these were brain-spasm mistakes rather than typos. Glad you nailed them!
So you raise a good point about Hermione and her attitude toward authourity figures. I find the version of Hermione that JKR wrote a bit puzzling. On one hand she has few qualms about excoriating her friends, but even though she is frequently able to see the illogic in authourity figures, she is very hesitant about confronting them. Is it fear of academic or professional repercussions, even though Hermione chances blatantly criminal behaviour in PoA and DH? Is it cowardice, even though she frequently risks her life. It can't just be bullheaded reverence, since Hermione is willing to use her wits to second-handedly disrespect authourity as she does in arranging the Quibbler article in OotP. I dunno; I guess a part of me just hopes that she has the backbone to really stand up for her friends at a critical juncture.
Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2016.01.22 - 08:28PM Title: Ex Nihilo
Fascinating story. I am starting to see how it is all coming together and how it most likely will end. Hermione being so forceful and demanding with the Headmaster was amazing. Looking forward to reading the next chapter.
Thank you MollyandArthur! Yes, as someone whom I have seen investing a lot of thought as the convoluted plots twined their way, I'm not surprised that you would be converging toward an understanding. That said, however, I suspect I may have a few modest surprises left.
I'm glad you enjoyed Hermione's big moment in centre stage! It was immense fun to write; more thoughts on Miss Granger as I respond to Wolf_Scream and Gin110881.
Thus far, I have needed to take the weekend away from this for various reasons, but hope to get back to writing tomorrow and hope to pull together the next chapter in reasonable time.
Reviewer: Dad Signed Date: 2016.01.22 - 07:18PM Title: Ex Nihilo
That was a really exciting chapter. We must be getting near the end.
The end is indeed near -- all things, good or ill, must reach there eventually. I'm tremendously grateful to have you along for the ride, as you were for TCP, and very gratified as well that you've enjoyed it! Thanks Dad!