SIYE Time:20:47 on 24th July 2017

Reviewer: Ranma-sensei Signed Date: 2016.03.21 - 03:49AM Title: Epilogue: Four Days Later


Whew, what a ride!

I like what you made of Smile's premise.

Nothing really to complain about. Just, the text seems to be formatted in a way that the 'textsize' option doesn't affect it. Makes it hard to read on smaller devices.

Keep narrating,

Author's Response:

Glad that you enjoyed the story, Ranma-sensei!

Yes, it would seem that the TNR font is not browser scalable. I did not stick with the default site font for the simple reason that I do a lot of formating manipulation to achieve differentiation between regular narrative, dreams, books, periodical articles, etc., and font variations help with that. In my latest stories I've settled on rendering default narrative Lucida Sans Unicode, which seems to be scalable and inoffensiv. Unfortunately, I've not had the opportunity to go back and standardize old stories. Someday, hopefully!

Thank you for leaving a review! Not all readers who come across a year old story leave their feedback, but I do go back and twiddle with old stuff from time to time, so feedback is always welcome, even is a story appears to be finished and aging.

Reviewer: RubysQuill Signed Date: 2015.08.09 - 07:10PM Title: Epilogue: Four Days Later


It's been a long time since I dipped my quill in the world Matt created. I used to be intimately familiar with it. While this didn't feel like the Harry and Ginny I knew, I found them to be compelling. I really like how you built their relationship and their growth as individuals. I found your characterization of Rin and Hermione to be a bit all over the place, then again that could have been by design. I especially enjoyed the sense of familiarity that the quotes from 'Taking Control' and the inclusion of original characters brought. You did a lovely job of completing the story. Thank you so very much for sharing. Now I will go back to reading the rest of your works.

Author's Response:

My deepest appreciation for the thoughtful review, RubysQuill!

While I can never claim the writing skill of Eoin Colfer, I believe that I share a bit of his 'perspective' as someone who undertook to complete Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's series. At the outset, one may aspire to the same tone and character intonations, but after some time the authors' differing life stories and distinct innate styles produce inevitable divergence. Fortunately, the vast majority of readers have the attitude, like yours, of appreciating the well-intended closure, that I was happy to provide.

To a fair extent, I was able to disguise differences in Harry's and Ginny's characters within the cloak of two protagonists who were both still in a process of rapid maturation throughout Matt's writings and on into mine. In other cases, perhaps my divergence was more telling. I suspect that Matt intended for Ron to mature more steadily and unidirectionally than I let him; my Ron unfortunately proved to be more like JKR's -- moody, impetuous and prone to wide sway between foolish and steadfast. By contrast, I am much more satisfied with my version of Hermione. She had truly sunk to a nadir in Free Life, and the biggest single plot-spur in TPC was the tale of how she gradually found her way back from the wilderness. So yes -- her struggles, at least, were very much by design.

Anyway, thank you again for your thoughts and for giving the story a chance. I hope you find some interest in the other tales too!

Reviewer: BobVosh Signed Date: 2015.07.25 - 07:03AM Title: Questions, Questions?

I honestly can't tell you why I'm reading this slowly. Probably just milking it, since almost nothing else seems to be out lately.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? I took 2 years in both college and high school, but its pretty much faded from memory by now.

Author's Response:

Mein Deutsch ist nicht so toll, aber es ist besser als mein Italienisch.

Yes, productivity seems to wane a little in July and August. Too much travel perhaps. But fast or slow, I hope you continue to enjoy the story!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2015.07.13 - 10:26PM Title: A Bit of Funny Reading


Don't know how I missed this wonderful story, but it's terrific stuff!

Author's Response: I think it flew under the radar a bit, as the first stories of many authours do. Nonetheless, I'm very pleased to know it fell upon accommodating eyes, and that you enjoyed!

Reviewer: BobVosh Signed Date: 2015.07.11 - 07:16AM Title: Fawkes Speaks


>Admittedly, experiments in pain and depravity don't always play well, and I'd hazard a guess that the biggest reason that the world of Harry Potter fan fiction is so active is to escape the sort of stuff that I just put you through

Didn't bother me in the slightest. It was more just trying to grasp why. Don't get me wrong, in canon she wasn't always (or even often) logical in actions, so its not like I'm trying to call it out.

Also I tend to read at work, which is why I read FF. When it is slow...hence why it took me a week to get around to chapter 3. XD

Author's Response:

Ach, sehr gut! Regardless, the challenges of balance the angst with the uplifting often makes for interesting writing exercises.

Anyway, great that I have the opportunity to liven up the occasional quieter hours for you. Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts as those moments arise!

Reviewer: BobVosh Signed Date: 2015.07.03 - 04:01AM Title: Eavesdropping in the Alley


Eavesdropping is under utilized in doing flashbacks, that was rather enjoyable.

I'm not too fond of how Hermione is portrayed, but its not horrifically unreasonable. I'm struggling to understand the motivations behind the letter sent to Molly still.

Author's Response:

Ah yes, the letter! Now by *motivations*, were you referring to those of Hermione (one last flailing effort to find a plausible ally as everyone else gravitates inexorably toward H&G), or to the author's (a device to show the depths to which Hermione had sunk)?

Admittedly, experiments in pain and depravity don't always play well, and I'd hazard a guess that the biggest reason that the world of Harry Potter fan fiction is so active is to escape the sort of stuff that I just put you through. However, if it helps bolster your courage at all, let me assure you that I have nothing of the Rowling-esque penchant for pyrrhic victories!

Glad you liked the little trip down memory lane, though! I enjoyed writing that.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

Reviewer: BobVosh Signed Date: 2015.07.03 - 02:29AM Title: A Bit of Funny Reading


You made me look up a word. How peculiar. (matriculated if you're curious which)

I do hope you have a good and compelling reason for what crawled up there and died for Hermione. I'm pretty sure you do, from what little I've read of yours.

I can't believe how badly I misspelled "convenient" on that other review too, I blame the fact that I'm at work and got distracted while writing it...but that's just a sad excuse for an equally sad mistake.

Author's Response:

Actually, I do indeed have a good reason for setting up Hermione's angst, in that it is the motivation for her to eventually emerge as the #3 character throughout the story, albeit a rather distant #3 after H&G, and with her own plot-line is somewhat distinct spur off the main focus. In any case, Miss Granger was left in a rather sorry state at the end of Matt's work, and one would think there is nowhere to go but up... or perhaps a bit of a staggering zig-zag... or something... You'll see.

No need to stew over dropping a couple letters in a word -- in this era of 5 inch touch screens, I've seen far worse!

Reviewer: cai2015525 Anonymous Date: 2015.05.24 - 10:10PM Title: The Other Side of the Door


No Review

[Respond: In Review]

Reviewer: LysCsuri Signed Date: 2015.02.06 - 02:06PM Title: Questions, Questions?


I love your Ginny -- she's so determined to help Harry and she's so smart and funny in the way she goes about it. If the two of them are pushing each other so hard to grow and learn, poor Voldy just doesn't stand a chance!

Author's Response: That's a great way of putting it! Yes, Harry and Ginny definitely do push each other to become smarter and stronger... and they have a lot of fun in doing so.

Reviewer: LysCsuri Signed Date: 2015.02.06 - 02:03PM Title: Eavesdropping in the Alley


Really neat characterizations here! If I remember correctly, these kids were introduced in Taking Control as just being keen students; now they're living breathing people, almost a bit like mini-versions of an earlier Harry-Ron-Hermione clique. They're way cooler than HRH, but perhaps that's because they're pieces of the puzzle, rather than being frightened students who have the weight of the whole Wizard World on their shoulders. In any case, they make great supporting characters -- I'm dying to see how they come into the bigger story in a meaningful way!

Author's Response: Ah yes! Ryan in particular becomes a key secondary character, and Mary-Jo and Nick both continue to play useful supporting roles, as do each of the other 'super seven'. Each, I believe you will agree, has a distinct personality, and they interact well with each other and with the main characters. In addition to these non-canon characters, Luna, Neville, Ron, Hermione, Hannah Abbott and Terry Boot make a reasonable number of appearances. Blaise Zabini and Daphne Greengrass are frequent comic relief. Draco remains evil and conflicted. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the initial teasers, and hope the experience continues to work for you!

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.02.04 - 09:43AM Title: Epilogue: Four Days Later

Many thanks for your detailed response.
Unfortunately you confirmed my worst fears. It seems as if this will be the end of their dreams to take over control of their life and their promise to stick together til the end ... at least for a wile ... hopefully not for ever.
That hurts.

Author's Response:

Ach -- you're making me as sad as I'm making you!

It is perhaps a matter of perspective. I think of Taking Control, Free Life and TPC as being a quest to triumph over not so much Voldemort as "the Prophesy". How can Harry obtain ownership over his own life? When Ginny becomes embroiled in the quest, how can she achieve true love with the person with whom she seems fated to stand with in war not of their choosing?

In the end, the quest is victorious... but can these two, bonded in war, also thrive in peace? I can't help but think of someone like Winston Churchill -- an iconic, inspirational war-hero whose legacy was ultimately tainted by distinct mediocrity in peace-time administration. So what happens to our post-war (i.e., post-prophesy) Harry & Ginny? Can they (in defining their love, their lives and the security of their society) prevail in a transition that so many have failed? The answer in the later writings is yes. Perfection may prove elusive, but they definitely achieve a closer approximation than most, and path of pursuit is one containing conflict and angst yes, but also love, humour, friends and diversions.

As I've proceeded with the subsequent stories, the love evolves but never wavers; the strength adapts but never diminishes; the thirst for knowledge is never quenched. If ever the forces of evil seek to constrain Harry and Ginny apart from each other, our two protagonists will always break down any barriers in their way, and reunite stronger than ever.

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.02.04 - 04:32AM Title: Epilogue: Four Days Later


I really hope that the both of them take their time to figure out their career plannings carefully.
The 'common outcome' of the planning, Quidditch star and Auror, is a real horror sceario for me.
OK, having fun playing Quidditch and working in the cause of justice for sure would make them happy. But all the side effects will drive them mad: having a celebrity status, press and interview dates, press gossip. These are all the things I can not connect with the characters of Ginny and Harry. Not to mention being locked up in training camps, being away doing Auror duties for weeks or month, ...

Altogether, these are the reasons I really dislike many of the post-Hogwarts fanfics.

To cut a long story short, I really hope they will make the right decisions.

Author's Response:

You raise some wonderful points! Unfortunately, if you begin skimming the chronologically subsequent stories (Trix / 1998 and The Seeker Daughter / 2004) you find that I did indeed succumb to allowing this Harry and this Ginny (despite being blessed of such independent, proactive virtues compared to Deathly Hallows characterizations) to subside into the canon quagmire.

Trix is really very much about making decisions. It begins with the perils of a wide-open clean-slate, it proceeds a bit as you would have hoped (Quidditch for fun; justice for friends who deserve it) but unfortunately the circumstances force decisions upon them, and those decisions are not all great. I'm amazed at your prescience though -- getting "locked up in training camps" is precisely the scenario (Harry's tied up with Montrose at the same time Ginny's being run ragged by Holyhead) that a certain evil mastermind exploits for wreaking havoc.

Finally, in The Seeker Daughter, you see the poor decisions from Trix finally begin to get assauged. In TSD, I've done my best to paint a mood (a bit melancholic, but hopeful) that acknowledges all of those concerns you raise, but implies that it's not too late to fix those earlier mistakes. If there truly is to be the 'happily ever after' scenario, it will truly being to take root after TSD.

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.02.04 - 03:36AM Title: The End and a Beginning


OK, no further comments regarding silly Slytherins from my side ...

Sadly, the content of the rites of betrothal will remain an everlasting mystery for us.

I'm quite uncomfortable with the idea of direct Ministry access to the Hogwarts HA program in order to advertise Aurors.
Apparently it sounds like a good idea in the particular situation. But, according to my experiences, this will become a worst cases scenario all to soon.

Author's Response:

Ah the betrothal? It would have been all in Latin, of course, but if you've been blessed with a traditional European education that would surely give you no more difficulty than English. There is one story (unwritten, but semi-requested) into which such detail might plausibly fit... Never say never...

Your point about Aurors at Hogwarts is apt and timely, since it is a detail that should be addressed in Trix, but that I have not yet fleshed out. I think it is fair to say that things will go wrong -- mostly resistance from the Auror & Hit Wizard rank and file to listen to willful, uncompromising teenagers like Ryan and Jennifer. Those disconnects may well contribute to the intelligence gaffs that lead to Ginny becoming imperiled. Anyway, thank you very much for helping me to condense some of those thoughts!

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.02.03 - 04:28AM Title: Break-in and Breakout


Finally I understood the idea behind the mode of action of the horcrux traps. It always sounded helpfull to have all the features for activation/deactivation but seeing it in action now it really makes sense :-)
Great idea to use the confundus charm to get such a frightening setting, Toms last evil action.

I don't mean to be fussy, but Ginnys patronus is a panther, not a lioness (refer to TC, chapter 6).
Consequently, Harry's "own matching feline" patronus is a lioness (refer to TC, chapter 23).


Author's Response:

Brilliant catch on the patronuses -- thanks!

And yes, this is almost as much a mental climax as it is a showdown of power. H&G are full of tricks, but old Riddle is not devoid of them either! It was definitely fun to write.

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.02.03 - 03:21AM Title: The Other Side of the Door


You gave us a great moment after Ginny's dream when Harry put it straight that they will stick together till the end. That, for sure, was a highlight for me! I reckon that this moment is supposed to be the counterpart of the most annoying canon moment right after Dumbledore's funeral. Well done!

The part of Narcissa was a bit surprising, but a story without surprises isn't a good story, right?

I always have the feeling that there was something more to say. But, reading the story on my ebook reader, every time when I'm back sitting in front of my notebook all the findings are gone ...

Author's Response:

Yes, exactly! Everything in that sequence (both dream and thoughtful resolution) is, as you say, about sticking 'together til the end'. Although many of the strongest, most successful people still harbour insecurities, the abandonment insecurity is one that (as you will see) they absolutely cannot afford to have.

Thank you very much for taking the time to think things through, even is not all of your insight gets carried along when you get the chance to review. If any burning glimmers of perception re-occur to you later, never hesitate to send them along!

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.02.02 - 08:38AM Title: A Weary Harry


Great chapters with all the incidents at Gringotts and a much to careless, exhausted Harry. Imagine Voldy is knocking at the Hogwarts gates at the same time when Harry is sleeping in classes.

... and eeek, did I miss something ... Blaise is kissing Ginny? I'm not amused.

Author's Response:

Ah yes, the new breed of Slytherin: not so much 'dark' as, er, dork...

And absolutely! Must definitely encourage the would-be saviour of the wizarding world to get some rest. He will need it in the end

Thank you for the comments, Martin!

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.02.02 - 07:36AM Title: Property of the...


Its good to read that Mione finally gets her research project. I'm relieved that she gets the chance to turn to the light side.

On the other hand, I was mildly surprised about Harry telling Dumbledore all the details about the horcruxes (supposed objects, number of horcruxes, ..). Maybe I have missed something, How he knew all that stuff? Did he read HBP?

Author's Response:

Ah yes -- this information has unraveled in the course of their research into the connection between Harry's and Voldemort's magical auras, and Ginny's ability to insulate Harry from that connection.

Ginny's horcrux-induced vision in chapter 8 is the first time that either of them begins to glimpse the number and nature of horcruxes (they appear to her as distortions to the primary Harry/Voldemort connection, with the interpretation being that all horcruxes are subtly aware of each other).

The real heavy duty analysis is in Chapter 10, though. Tremelda helps Harry to see the horcruxes, and Salvatore is the first one to actually refer to them by the term 'horcrux'.

As an authour I wonder if I somehow undersold or underpresented chapter 10 -- it's one of the shorter chapters in the book, and gets fewer reader hits than most of the other chapters, yet reveals some of the deepest, darkest secrets in the story. Perhaps I should add a bit of foreshadowing prior to the chapter, or a summary statement at some point to reinforce the actions and discovery. No point in being sly and subtle if readers miss key insight.

Anyway, thank you very much for reading and commenting!

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.01.30 - 12:21PM Title: Questions, Questions?


Somehow, I could not help feeling that you switch the good and the dark ones from canon, Draco and Mione, Gryffindor and Slytherin. OK, oK, Draco is still a bad one and Gryffindor is not dark. Maybe the feeling came up because more and more acting characters are Slytherin, well-behaving Slytherin.
For me, the most interesting parts of a story, and actually the reason why I read fanfic at all, is the interaction between Ginny and Harry, the dialogues, the teasing etc. Hence, I really enjoyed the brainstorming; it was a kind of a highlight for me.
For me as a non-English reader it is a bit harder to read TPC than most of the other stories. Usually I donít need a dictionary, I only double check a few words when it seems important. I reckon my dictionary will be a bit worn out when I finish reading TPC. I will take it as a challenge, in the same way as Harry would do, Iíll try to learn how I can experience your literary essence in a way that I can sense the missing words ;-)
Cu soon, now TPC is calling Ö

Author's Response:

Ironic that you should pull Hermione and Draco out of the hat to exemplify altered characters -- these two are slated for some fireworks later on that prove instrumental in Hermione's character development and, indeed, for some pivotal plot points. As for the rest of the Slytherin mid- to major-characters, I like to think of them as being not evil, but largely neurotic. Blaise and Daphne have become highly irreverent rascals, and even Ryan is a bit of an odd duck (the uncouth term to use would be 'anally retentive'). Anyway, a key part of the victory plan is to win over the Slytherins to the light side; this proves to be a case of herding cats, but it makes for fun writing.

Ah yes -- I am guilty of using the occasional polysyllabic monster. I'm sure that pretty few of them would mind if you skipped right past.

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2015.01.29 - 08:24AM Title: A Bit of Funny Reading


At first a big THANK YOU for referencing the fake_a_smile stories.
I hesitated to start reading them because Free Life seemed to be abandoned. When I found out that your story will continue immediately after the chapter 6 of Free Life I decided to give it a try. I'm really happy that I did so.

A Bit of Funny Reading was a compelling start into TPC. So I'm pretty sure that I will love your story as much as I loved TC and FL.
I don't want to be nosy, but did you inherit parts of Matts storyline for TPC?
... and btw.: thanks for the nice picture of Ben Rinnes. If I had known that Gin and Harry made their work-outs up there I would have stopped there when I visited the Speyside last year :-)

Author's Response:

I think Rowling showed some real genius in situating Hogwarts within a region of Scotland where one legitimately might imagine hiding something that impressive from Muggles. Anyway, Ben Rinnes is definitely a place where, with a little imagination, one can feel power rising up from the cold immortal stone.

Wonderful to hear that the existence of TPC helped clear the final obstacle for you to enjoy TC and FL! Ultimately, Matt's indirect influence on TPC is substantial, but his direct influence is minimal. This is to say that I did attempt to identify as many loose threads from FL as possible and tie them up in TPC, and the tone of FL clearly dictated how I initiated and wrote the first 8 chapters of TPC (after that it begins a subtle divergence). And to some extent, the whole underlying theme is a tribute to Matt: he's an audiophile, and the deep underlying theme of TPC is a fundamental melody to magic. But although we exchanged some notes early on, he got busy and I got busy and the eventual product was primarily novel rather than ghost-writing.

Thank you so much for the thoughts and questions!

Reviewer: InwoodHP Signed Date: 2015.01.20 - 12:35AM Title: Epilogue: Four Days Later


Outstanding work. Really enjoyed it.

Author's Response: Always thrilling to find a new reader for whom the story resonated! Thank you very much for letting me know, InwoodHP!

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