Reviewer: MisterBlack Signed Date: 2016.03.21 - 09:35PM Title: Many Unto One
This is a bittersweet chapter. Harry, Ginny, and Hermione manage to thwart Malfoy's plan and they manage to prevent the thestral from dying but the means to get there was excruciating and painful both physically and emotionally.
Yes, I'm afraid that perhaps my writing strayed well back within the bounds of brooding JKR canon, wherein every victory must be pyrrhic; every sweetness must be bitter. In earlier plot sketches, I experimented with the idea that the Publican would die at the end -- an end for which there was apparently enough subtle foreboding for you to catch. But I couldn't pull the trigger and leave the princess to raise her children without her true love. Besides, having a very powerful wizard coupled with a witch who is an exceptionally skilled healer must count for something.
Like any philosopher dabbling on the edge of the ambiguous, your confusion is warranted. With this resolution, did the Wilsey/Gravener world now never exist? Does it continue apace in its flawed form? Is it somehow repaired? Do these special characters inhabit some other reality, now forever divorced from everything that we know? Is there still some magic available to cut away the dimensions that sunder? Does Ginny (who was always the most immersed in the alternate spacetime projections) carry with her the ephemeral vestiges of Gemina and the princess? Can they vicariously experience the fruition of their own sacrifices? I dunno. If I ever do decide to cure the ache in my own heart and bring that other world to a happier resolution, I may eventually seek to answer those. In the mean time, Martin (Gin110881) could probably recommend a good Scotch to help you toward your own answers.
Anyway, I feel your pain and I thank you for your own strength of character in soldiering on!
Reviewer: Dad Signed Date: 2016.03.06 - 04:29PM Title: Many Unto One
I must admit, like Ron, I was a bit confused at times, but still an exciting story.
While I would never presume to task my readers in this way, there are some stories that are meant to be read twice, and this may be one of them. I can only imagine just how disorienting the experience would have been to a reader diligently following along as I posted de novo -- reading all in one shot would be a little less disorienting, and of course, rereading would likely produce a more satisfying breadth of understanding.
Regardless, I'm most heartened that you followed it all the way through!
Reviewer: ginnyweasley777 Signed Date: 2016.02.24 - 09:44AM Title: Many Unto One
Aha! So now it all starts to make sense. Glad they learnt from their mistakes first time around for changing the outcome second time around.
Insightful as always -- thank you Hannah! If there's a fundamental message in this story, it's that one doesn't need to be a super-Ginny or a super-Harry if one learns from one's mistakes and gets a few lucky breaks.
There is the element of irony in that while luck plays a major role in the final resolution, the truth is that, indeed, both Ginny and Harry *do* come away from this adventure with a lot of transferred ancient magic. All of those spells introduced in the story are theirs to keep; they both have been accorded with ancient healer traditions and (mentioned in the story, but not used) is the fact that Harry should have inherited at least some of the Peverell skills in ancient charms. So, while Harry and Ginny got through this frenetic story by being plucky and lucky teenagers, who's to say that they can't sit down and take stock of all those aptitudes that they've mysteriously acquired?
Perhaps another reason to think about a continuation... but again, no commitments.
Thrilled that you too liked the alternate versions of some of our favourite friends!
So, from whence arose such a nutty story premise? The whole Boadicea idea germinated from a little research that I did while writing The Prevailing Counterpoint. At one point therein, Hermione (a not so nice version thereof) was researching famous witches and wizards whose passions and perils pulled them into dark magic (since she was worried Harry would fall likewise) and had looked into Boadicea. To justify writing her name down in TPC, I did just enough of my own research to plant an inexorable seed, especially when I read about the fact that the queen's heirs were two daughters. Without that it would have been a dead end (I would never have associated Ginny with Boadicea in any way), but LanossŽa gave me a possible lead-in. With those anchor points, it didn't take too much figuring to come up with a plot revolving around the sabotage of a key element of JKR canon.
Admittedly, to get from that simplistic shell to the final version involved an amazing number of twists that nobody (least of all me) envisioned :)
Thank you for the note and for the many ways you make SIYE a cool place!
Reviewer: hgromance Signed Date: 2016.02.23 - 01:11PM Title: Many Unto One
Loved the story! It was incredibly unique and well done. I just wish it had lasted well into the school year. Would love to have seen more of Harry and Ginny as their relationship developed.
Tremendous pleasure to get a note like this from a true master of unique and well done stories -- thank you Barbara!
In answer to your comment about the time line, there is an explanation and an admission. The explanation for keeping this whole story confined to a few weeks of a summer is that Harry's fifth year is beset by exceptional canonical distractions (classes, Quidditch, Umbridge, scornful class mates, etc.) that wouldn't mesh well with the even greater distraction that this story entails, so I thought to tuck it away into a stretch that (post-Wizengamot-hearing) was actually quite dull. The admission, as I write the epilogue, is that there are an increasing number of mid-level incentives to continue the 1995 story line, into the school year. The continued development of Harry's and Ginny's relationship is one; continued growth on the part of other characters is another... and people keep asking about Dumbledore... Moving Trix along is a higher immediate priority, but if I can think of a compelling story that brings everything to happy closure with no Horcruxes and no final battle (all well achieved by others greater than myself), then I might indeed consider it.
Thank you most kindly for reading and offering your thoughts!
Reviewer: lunagranger Signed Date: 2016.02.22 - 10:53PM Title: Many Unto One
Well, it seems all different timelines are convrging, not only the brooochs. Harry and Ginny are finally well and that's wonderful.
Yes, exactly -- the narrative has finally and definitively stabilised. The 'tomorrow' that Harry and Ginny wake up to will finally depend only on the 'today' and not on fluctuations in other times. And indeed, our favourite protagonists have come through the ordeal well, and strong. All of that will be touched upon in the final installment.
As you often do, your review prompts a question whose answer is not as obvious as one might guess. Will Dumbledore attain humility? In canon, it took the debacle at Department of Mysteries to finally knock some sense into him. Are the events of this story adequate to accomplish something like that? No matter how you flip the story, what Ginny and Harry would share with him now does not bode particularly well for Dumbledore's own future. Is he yet at the point where he can invest confidence in them as the true emerging leaders of the light? Watch for signs in the final installment; they may be subtle...
As always, thank you very much for reading and reviewing Silvia!
Reviewer: Dad Signed Date: 2016.02.22 - 03:12PM Title: Many Unto One
Coming to a close in a very satisfactory way. Might I also say I enjoy your extended comments on some of your reviews. You must spend nearly as long on them as each chapter. However, I must point out the only thing to dilute a glass of whiskey with is more whiskey. Water is for washing in.
Very happy to hear your kind thoughts, Dad!
Yes, there's no question that I take my review responses seriously. One on level, given that I've been writing most of this story on real time (as opposed to TPC where I was typically 5-10 chapters ahead all the while) which means that reading and reviewing comments has been an excellent opportunity throughout to tweak content. In this sense, any time I tell a reviewer that she or he will see something in the next chapter, there is actually at least a 33% chance that his or her review has influenced me to make sure that the chapter will truly live up to that promise.
There's also the fact that I've been blessed with some tremendously intelligent reviewers who raise fascinating points. If someone takes the time to think about what was read, and to write feedback, questions, philosophy, emotions, etc., then I would be woefully remiss to not respond appropriately. Dialogues like this sure beat writing a story like this down on paper, then tossing it into a shoebox in the attic...
Regarding whisky and water, I will definitely acknowledge three pronounced schools of thought -- those who require their whisky absolutely unadulterated, those who believe that those fierce Celtic deities permit malt/grain blends, and those who will allow water of the highest clarity and natural integrity. As I understand it, both of the latter camps look at blending as a way to tease out the subtle flavours. Those who try it with water point to an ability to continue tasting for a bit longer before the non-flavour aspects of whisky render the tastebuds completely sozzled :)
Hmmm. Not sure why, but I think I need a drink...
Reviewer: RighT3rantZ Signed Date: 2016.02.22 - 01:00PM Title: Many Unto One
I gotta say, I find myself lost for words...well maybe not, well only for part of it. My poor head just seems to find itself throbbing after all these timing and character shifts.
Yes indeed -- confusion reigned supreme! It was not stated clearly in this chapter, but the chaos was reflective of the damage done in the previous chapter to causality, breaking down common sense barriers that kept different versions of the same character from interacting face to face.Regarding the brooch stacking, yes seemingly a very impetuous risk, but you will receive some insight in the next chapter regarding the calculation.
So, you likely noticed that there are a great many 'threes' in this story for some reason -- three Ginnys and three Hermiones (and who knows about these pluralisations?), there are three Harrys (sort of, if you count an ephemeral ideal who was never actually born), three Duffs, three objects of power (staff, wand and brooch) and three manifestations of each of these objects (if anyone asks, I can elaborate), and there are both three ancient outcomes and three versions of the post-1995 future. Unless one is innately trivalent, I can empathise with all confusion.
Oh and, by the way, don't think that I missed how you pluralised the authour. We all thank you for your wit(s).
Regarding Malfoy, you shall catch an allusion to his Sisyphean fate in the next chapter.
Finally, I'm gratified to hear that you enjoyed another slow-time descriptive passage. Those take far far longer to write than the real scene they cover; it's always wonderful to hear they register with some readers as being more than bland filler.
Thank you for your preview, review and your distinctly unique take on things!
Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2016.02.21 - 11:50AM Title: Many Unto One
Wow, has Dumbledore finally learned to trust in the knowledge and capability of others above himself, at least occasionally? Poor Arthur is about to hear a completely overwhelming story, and if Molly manages to hear everything without screaming, sobbing, or both, I will be extremely impressed. I did not believe it possible that I would feel any regret for the fate of the queen in this story, but learning about the horrible curse on the staff and realizing how much she was trying to resist the Imperius Curse, I do feel some sympathy for her. The knowledge that Harry and Ginny in particular have gained through this entire experience is extraordinary. Dumbledore now knows that they possess power beyond his earlier imagining since Ginny was able to heal the wand after silently, wandlessly summoning it. This makes me wonder about the ownership of the wand now, or at least who the wand feels the greater affinity towards. I know you are planning to wrap up this story soon, and I do hope you are considering a sequel. Looking forward to reading the final chapter.
Yes indeed -- a measure of rehabilitation for the two wayward authourity figures. This doesn't excuse their slippery morals, but provides some justification. If this story line was to continue, I do wonder whether he would be able to abide by his somewhat diminished importance.
Yes, not easy to imagine Molly's response. Although a bit prone to histrionics, I am of the vague mind that she might have difficulty processing such an abstract story as being 'real' -- a real threat surmounted; a real victory achieved; a real transformation in the prospects to defeat Voldemort. I do need to think about this a bit more because next chapter must at least allude to some of these conversations. Thank you for putting this into my thought train!
Regarding the wand, there will be more discussion of this in the next chapter, because Dumbledore is definitely going to want to understand what is going on with his little stick...
Appreciate the thoughtful comments and loya readership, M&A!
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2016.02.21 - 08:15AM Title: Many Unto One
I love long responses :)
Ah, well let me thank you heartily for your interest and your kind words about the Twenty Questions scene! Some people I have known might have found it tedious to read a lengthy passage that focuses on a non-canonical character. In truth, the scene originated as a pvivotal component of the primary plot, but soon evolved into an exposition of 'who is Hettie Gravener?'.
Does the scene also tell us about Hermione Granger? I believe the answer to that is yes, indirectly. The key here is that Hettie is seven years diverged from the canonical Hermione -- a girl who never a Hogwarts letter and never went on to adventure and fame. Rather, Hettie was presumably obliviated as an eleven year old, and sent overseas with her family to an affluent, protected, quiet life as a Muggle... until a young stranger appears in her life.
To say that 'Twenty Questions' is insight into Hermione, is to say that it's a thought experiment into what Hermione might be like after seven years of mellowing, and a lot less notoriety. Would Hermione have been so arrogant if she'd spent those years not as the smartest witch (or wizard) of her generation at a school like Hogwarts (where, face it, half of the students and professors alike have intellects on par with mouldering turnips)? What if she had to scramble in an academically excellent Muggle school, never realising that she had a talent that none of the other students had?
What I arrived at, in combination with Gemina and Rob, were characterisations that were far too much fun to write -- so much that I had to be careful to not let them subsume the main story!
So, while I realise that the plot of Splinters has painted a dead end for these characters, it had (in the course of writing this) occurred to me that one could retain the characters, but creating a new alternate universe for them. Based on characters alone, can you imagine the adventures that Gemina, Hettie and Luna(Lucy) could have, for example? I'm fairly certain that the idea is crazy, but it's fun for me to ponder.
Reviewer: KateP Signed Date: 2016.02.21 - 08:11AM Title: Many Unto One
Really suffering with flu right now so going to do a big review but wanted to thank you for giving me something to take my mind off the flu
Oh! Very sorry to hear about the vicious virus -- hope you fight it off soon, Kate! Thank you for taking the time to chime in!
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2016.02.21 - 05:35AM Title: Many Unto One
It's great to have a new chapter after you teased us with teasers for a while ;-)
Oh my! I believe you have a knack for prompting long responses, and I feel one coming on...
First of all, thank you for the glitch catches! It's a tradeoff I guess -- given another week I could eradicate them all on my own, but in general I think the readers would prefer to just have the chapter, despite (or perhaps because of ;) those sneak peaks.
Yes, I've been holding onto that brooch twist for a long time. Unlike many of my secrets, I don't believe I ever even hinted about this one except to suggest from time to time that Hermione plays a role that is more important than one may think.
And speaking of Hermione, I assume your review is referring primarily to her journal entry? If so, then I'm very glad you like it! Although I inherited a bitchy Hermione when I began writing The Prevailing Counterpoint, I have always believed that Hermione was a golden-hearted lass caught behind the social awkwardness of a bookish prude. If, conversely, your comment was inspired more by Hettie's Twenty Questions scene, then I would have a much longer commentary... but we'll hold that in reserve.
Finally, I'm immensely gratified that you liked the two Ginnys scene. I forced myself to keep it uncharacteristically short -- not because I wouldn't have loved to spin it out, but because I sincerely believed that this was one case where 'short' would indeed be 'sweet'. Or bitter sweet. Anyway, just as Hettie was a Hermione without Hogwarts, Gemina is a Ginny without Harry, and both have proven to be wonderful experimental characters to write. The Gemina story, if elaborated in full, could be an immensely potent writing experience (a natural leader; destiny's child in a failing dystopia) but so sad...
And yes indeed, there will be an element of Poirot to the next chapter, plus an additional little surprise or two. Thank you again for reading, reviewing and spurring the authour onwards toward his potential!
Reviewer: nesciamema Signed Date: 2016.02.21 - 12:30AM Title: Many Unto One
A little confusing but very interesting chapter. So Dumbledore has the Coritani wand, will it answer to Ginny now since she is its master?
A 'little confusing' is precisely the assessment that you should have, since confusion is the dominant meme in this story. By the end of the next chapter, all threads should finally tie together although, admittedly, it might take one re-read (done over days rather than months) to see where everything fits.
Regarding the wand, yes, a fundamental tenet of Rowling's tale has (during the course of this story) now been changed twice -- first for bad and now for better. A bit more wrap-up discussion on that net chapter.
Thank you for the review, Nesciamema!
Reviewer: Wolfs_Scream Signed Date: 2016.02.20 - 05:58PM Title: Many Unto One
Yes, I'm pretty sure that a motion to eat is always in order if there are Weasleys around. (Especially teenage Weasleys.)
All corrected as suggested -- thank you David!
Yes indeed, loose ends all very nearly wrapped up now!