Reviews For Splinters
Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.07 - 04:19AM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
Bringing them all together for the finale with Ron traded for Ginny, a significant upgrade to the team, in my humble opinion, is a great idea! I am greatly looking forward to the next chapter to see how Hettie undoes herself in order to keep Hermione alive, along with the Order members who are trapped in headquarters without a delminator to lead them and a brooch in the wrong hand, which I suspect will end up being the proper hand when all is said and done. Either that, or the world ends and Voldemort will remain king and lord forever in the wizarding world, if not beyond. Wow! Past and future colliding to forrm the proper present ... or am I totally confused? Regardless, thank you for the great ride!
Too true -- a rather different golden trio, right? I did indeed understand Rowling's argument that she couldn't really bring Ginny in to hang off the trio's heels like, well, a younger sibling... but it did puzzle me that despite JKR's avowed feminism, she didn't see the powerful literary potential for bringing someone like Ginny along to vindicate herself after the debacle of CoS. Neville clearly fared better; maybe even Luna. I dunno. I guess that's the injustice that drives this site.A brooch in the wrong hand that proves to be the right hand?? No other reviewer ever guessed so aptly; I'd assume that the vast majority of readers pegged Hettie to be a convenient vehicle, rather than an absolutely essential cog, who's right there at the end...
Totally confused? Nah, pretty well spot on, I'd say!
Finally, after I responded to you review of the previous chapter, and before you offered this one, I actually composed a second response, but couldn't post it because of site maintenance. Anyway, at the risk of making this a very long capsule, I figured I'd just include it below:
Comment on prior chapter's review: After all that I wrote, I realised that there were a couple of things I had forgotten to mention. First, in skimming through this chapter, it occurred to me how salient your 'memento mei' comment in the previous chapter was. With Lanossea catching her breath in the pinewoods, taking a moment to reflect on the uncertainty of the Publican's fate, it is very easy to imagine her leaning up against one of the very tree imbued with that charm, since that was the general location where they placed most of the guides.
Secondly, your comment about having been an Episcopalian priest who now ponders some of the deepest existential issues, I am reminded by my own grandfather (long deceased of course) who, as a retired Lutheran minister, used to engage me at times in such talk, often over wine. A nascent liberal within a rather conservative denomination, we spoke very frankly on everything from the emergence of animal cloning (these were the days of Dolly the sheep, and I was at the time a young scientist) to why, in the grand scheme of things, the universe truly needed mosquitos... And of course, yes, things did betimes go much deeper.
My, how I miss him...
Reviewer: MisterBlack Signed Date: 2016.03.21 - 07:21PM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
So now I see what you meant by them having a second chance. I suspected that somehow Harry and Ginny were responsible for the time bubble. For some reason I never thought to mention it. Is it just me or does it seem like magic back in the earlier days when the Publican and the Princess were still alive seems more powerful?
Excellent questions! Was magic stronger back then? Was the queen more or less powerful than the princess? Pardon me if I take both questions and attempt a semi-coherent answer to both simultaneously.
To begin with, the queen is laden with contradictions. She is unquestionably awesome when armed with her staff, yet very nearly powerless without it. She does not display great reasoning or intellect, but is a gifted orator. As to who would prevail in a hypothetical showdown between queen and princess, the queen's staff confers an advantage and her physicality is intimidating, but the princess leads unquestionably with versatility and skill. As to the broader question of ancient vs. modern magic, let me add that in addition to the queen and princess, it is clear that the Publican, Legate and Antioch are also very powerful. This all argues that, yes, there is a higher standard of magical prowess. The reasoning for why this might hold is that perhaps the wizards and witches of the day live a more open and socially revered life; there is more freedom to exchanging intellect and bloodlines with the non-magical world (unlike the modern marginalised and inbred society). On the flip side, one could argue that over time, magical prowess subsided in some skills (divination; brute force displays of power; many specialised charms), but grew in others (e.g., Apparition, Portkeys and broomsticks had not yet been formulated by A.D. 61). So perhaps there has been a shift of focus.
Yes, Hettie is about to go on an... adventure... :)
Your last two paragraphs are also going to inspire in me a blended answer. Firstly, although I haven't seen the story you allude to, yes, that is definitely the mood that I'm going for. This wild mission has awakened in Hettie her latent magical sensitivities and the worsening state of debacle is probably for worse for her near the end of this chapter than if she had retained her Mugglish ignorance (in which case, it would likely just have been a somewhat creepy, demoralising April day). However, on the flip side, before things had completely fallen apart, one can perhaps imagine a tight-knit, familial cameraderie that far exceeded the dysfunctional state of constant snippiness evident in the canonical bastions of light such as the Order, the Weasley family, Hogwarts, etc. In this sense (in the face of ever-present adversity) I have imagined a version of Ron (i.e., Rob) who grew up in a rather unique environment -- one of tough-love nurturing, where self-centeredness was not tolerated, and in which wallowing in youngest brother inferiority complex was never an option. And yes, I have also imagined Gemina...
Dare I say, my readers have actually 'thanked' me for messing with perfection? Is it possible to envision a Ginny whose six older brothers (cognisant of their shared hard scrabble existence) never sought not to over-protect their little sister, but rather strove to ensure she could protect herself? And protect others. And to survive and marshall the remaining forces of light time and again in a bitter, failing crusade, because doing so was the only right path. This is a Ginny without the Chamber of Secrets, and for whom butter dishes or singing valentines are utterly inconceivable. By all rights, Gemina was destined to be a Ginny without a Harry... but of course that's never truly possible, is it?
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2016.02.10 - 11:08AM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
I wonder if Gemina has ever touched the brooch. There must be a reason why she is so determined and even knows how Harry would look a like...
It is fair to say that Gemina has never touched the brooch, but how then does she *know* that her world could have been a better, more righteous place? One that contained that flame of vindication that always seemed to be missing? Will the author answer this properly?
Who would answer a cry for help, undirected and in the darkness?
Are there mechanistic answers to such questions, or merely mystical?
Right now, in lieu of answering any of those queries directly, I would redress a question unasked as follows. If by some odd chance you find yourself within striking distance of Ballachulish in the western Highlands sometime between now and May, find a couple of hours for yourself, grab a good pair of hiking boots, some warm clothing and several clean, empty flasks, then make your way up one of the less-traveled footpaths into the Aonach Eagach. At the point where melt waters first trickle out of the pristine snows, fill those flasks and bring them home to place alongside your Lagavulin... The next time you are in the contemplative mood (for Ginny, or Gemina, or any other worthy subject) mix half-and-half, slightly chilled, beside a dim light and set the mind to wander...
Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2016.02.10 - 04:23AM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
Oops, the second to last chapter? It feels as if we are just in the middle of the action. Maybe we will have a very large last chapter? Or a chapter which leaves enough room for a sequel? We will see..
Hmmm... Well it's possible that things may spread out into, say, one chapter and an epilogue. I guess we'll see how the words flow. As far as the 'S' word, I'm not sure. As you'll see soon, I take pains to finally eliminate the mechanism of temporal havoc that is so central to the story, and this may short-circuit some of the most natural follow-ons, such as a complete re-telling of the 'three brothers'. I do admit that there is a compelling 'across the mirror' story of Gemina, Rob, Hettie & co. that I would love, or hate, to write. In one sense, I would love it because I (speaking with the biased passion of an authour) love the earthy bravado in the trenches of a doomed resistance, but I would hate it because their fates are so harrowing -- where complete failure grows so increasingly inevitable, such that their only remaining hope is to erase their entire fated existence. Wow -- would readers ever hate me! And there is, finally, the more basic story that leads Harry and Ginny to the final battle, but as of right now it's difficult to imagine myself coming up with something truly 'novel' to entertain people with, considering the number of perfectly reasonable horcrux-hunting-hallows-hoarding HG stories already on this site. But I leave open the possibility that some thoughtful, ingenious reader will say something that magically inspires me...
Regarding the queen -- yes Martin, do trust your instincts! And we have not seen the last of Mr. Malfoy... Another 'villain' has yet to speak their final piece, as well. As it stands, I 'think' I won't leave too many tantalising details hidden beneath the Northamptonshire moss.
Very true in terms of Hettie/Hermione closing the circle. Stay tuned on that!
Splinters... Mundane or aethereal? The precise answer to that question I leave to readers' own musings. However, I can confirm your emerging impression that there are no soul splinters in this story.
Wonderful point about Gemina! It would be fair to say that in a world without Harry, she is Harry's true torch bearer, striving not toward some frilly romantic notions, but rather to foster the lofty ideals that Harry would have pursued if he had been around to do so. It is a grim tale, but I do agree that this is the epitome of 'strong and supportive'. Thank you for crystalising those thoughts!
As far as your final question about the Fuddle Fog series. In this case, the motivation is one of logic -- that there is a natural end point to the current narrative that I think would bring the tale to a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion (albeit a quirky one). On a secondary level, my thought is that this series, although not fluff, is anti-angst. Rowling started the HP series with a cute little children's tale and ended it with a harrowing allegory of sacrifice and Pyrrhic vindication. Not so with Fuddle Fog, Secrest and 'as-yet-unnamed'. This series is supposed to be funny and uplifting. Except of course for the bad guys; not so funny and uplifting for them :)
But who knows what the future holds. Sylvelle convinced me to write Trix after I thought The Prevailing Counterpoint produced a fait accompli...
Reviewer: lunagranger Signed Date: 2016.02.09 - 01:43PM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
Hermionei is acknowledging Ginny's potential to really be there for Harry. And we are too. I love your Ginny, because she is strong and supportive. It's funny, but most Ginnys in HG stories aren't really like that, even if it's the best part of HG. I love this story and this Ginny.
Ah, now this is why I love a LunaGranger review -- you can always find a short phrase to perfectly encapsulate something on my mind! In this case, the key is "strong and supportive". Such is the ideal Ginny -- someone who epitomises both the girl who would not be left behind for the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, as well as the one who gave Harry his few weeks of bliss in HBP. For some reason Rowling would let Ginny be one or the other, but never both at the same time. I'm not sure why not. Perhaps because Rowling was so addicted to angst?
Anyway, it's always a joy to write 'strong and supportive' Ginny, and am not sure why such stories are somewhat in the minority in an HG site. Brennus obviously holds loyally to the same motif; some other authours are great as well, but I guess a lot of others are addicted to the damsel in distress model (weak Ginny) or the unsupportive (angsty conflict). Each to their on.
Anyway, thank you very much for your most kind words, Silvia!
Reviewer: RighT3rantZ Signed Date: 2016.02.09 - 01:06PM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
So the Splinters reveal themselves in literal form!
So let us (for a moment) pretend that the authour is a fair bit smarter than he really is. In that case, the fact that Rome was a great adopter and adapter of many useful or interesting aspects of western and middle eastern cultures lends itself very well to the case of Roman dark wizards exploiting Greek magic just after the Greeks had absorbed Egyptian mysticism (considering that Ptolemaic Egypt was a great center of Greek culture). Thus, the Legate could very well have exploited Aub (Serpent of Knowledge) power to mess with the staff. Or perhaps the authour is much more simple-minded and just chose the serpent as a nasty proto-Slytherin motif. I shall let you all believe whatever inspires you most :)
What happened to the Coritani wand? A most fundamental question! There is actually a hint in Chapter 8 during Ginny's chat with a certain someone in the MoM Atrium.
Regarding Gemina, the unspoken implication is that Rob instructed the photo characters to help Hettie in a case of emergency, just as canon portraits like Phineas Nigellus Black continued to carry out Dumbledore's instructions after Dumbledore's death. However there may be a tiny bit more going on here than what one can discern from canon. That said, however, what you say is completely correct -- the past and the prospective future(s) have been in constant flux throughout this book. That flux will cease either a) when the authour gets tired, and/or b) when something happens to close the rather nettlesome window of magical opportunity...
Er, it's a good thing that I've made your head hurt? I, er, think I should be flattered...?
Actually my head hurts too now. Thank you for the challenging cerebral exercises!
Reviewer: ginnyweasley777 Signed Date: 2016.02.06 - 09:17AM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
damn! the computer just ate my review...take two...
Very sad to hear you lost a review! Grateful that you persevered, though -- always wonderful to hear from you Hannah!
Personally, I think that Harry and Ginny are being a little too hard on themselves by actually taking the blame for the time rupture, but I think it speaks to their maturity that they barely quibbled over that question, and instead shifted immediately to the debate over how to fix it.
Yes, I too may get a bit sentimental over putting this story to bed. It's been a very different experience compared to The Prevailing Counterpoint, where the latter was so logical and (mostly) inevitable, whereas this one seemed destined, even from the beginning, to be schizophrenic and ended up taking lots of wacky turns that even the authour didn't anticipate. Fun!
Reviewer: MollyandArthur Signed Date: 2016.02.06 - 08:08AM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
Numerous revelations in this chapter. I love the way the teens are figuring out how to deal with their current reality, even as the time and place around them keeps shifting. The queen is a strong willed character to say the least, but they somehow must find a way to control her, and prevent further harm. It is great the way that wand lore keeps popping up in this story and the understanding of magic is increasing constantly for Harry and Ginny. Now that Hermione has become so integral, I am eager to see if Ron will become more actively involved in the last few chapters. Looking forward to reading your next chapter.
Resilience! That is what I'd always imagined as the greatest benefit derived from adding Ginny to the mix. I'm certain that she would give to Harry the ability to bend and realign under pressure, rather than shred and tear. It also helps, of course, that they're both rather smart in ways that only partly correlate with academics, and the one way Rowling did justice to Ginny was in demonstrating her ability to place herself on Harry's mood plane and guide (or sometimes yank) him back home.
You are absolutely correct -- the queen, although justifiably aggrieved and certainly not evil, is rather a thorn in plot. She must be neutralised. If you go way back in the review archives, you'll find that one reviewer (RighT3rantZ) knows what it will take to accomplish this. He knows, because I have promised... and I do not break my magical oaths!
Ron Weasley (ca. 1995) has a bit more supportive contributions to make but, although he is trending in the right direction, he is not yet near to achieving the depth and contemplative courage of Rob Wilsey (ca. 1998; alternate universe). Perhaps the future bodes well for him, though.
Sincerest thanks for the great reviews, MollyandArthur!
Reviewer: Trucker Signed Date: 2016.02.06 - 02:30AM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
Only one quibble: "there's still a part of me that can help dreaming about September 1st"
Very true -- another wee gaff corrected. Thank you very much Ronald; it's wonderful to hear your virtual voice again!
Reviewer: Wolfs_Scream Signed Date: 2016.02.05 - 10:10PM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
Yes, the issue of how to stop Lucky Lucy from messing with Time again bears some consideration. Plausible approaches would seem to include preventing him from doing so (it seems reasonable that he'd need some fairly special artifact to accomplish such a feat, vs. merely accomplishing it because he wants to) and ensuring that the idea never occurs to him. (I suppose it would be "too neat" to merely ensure that he doesn't exist -- that would seem to address a rather large host of problems -- but I'm confessing a bias, I suspect.)
Ack! I, for one, would certainly not want Hermione biting my shoulder! Not even after her dental work in CoS... Anyway my gratitude for catching those before too many readers stumbled over them -- apparently I pushed the chapter through a bit too quickly, trying to submit it for leaving for a meeting.
Regarding Malfoy, I must seal my lips... I suspect that you, and many other readers have figured out a great deal, but I must leave a morsel or two for the fading moments.
And yes, Hettie has a huge opportunity! She shall bring an element of luck to the resolution. No more on that may I yet say.
Thank you so very much for reading, reviewing and revising, David!
Reviewer: mdauben Signed Date: 2016.02.05 - 04:27PM Title: Dementors, Deluminator
This is quite a roller coaster you are leading us on! One minute it seems things are getting worse, then better, then worse again! You definitely have me on the edge of my seat waiting desperately for your next update.
Yes, this does rather tug and sway, doesn't it? It's odd how stories evolve sometimes -- I had originally envisioned this as a quirky romance/drama, and Trix as the tale of darker angst, but I suspect a lot of readers would quibble with both sets of labels. I'm fairly satisfied with Splinters as a romance, but it has certainly had plenty of angst and darkness.
Anyhow, I hope to wrap things up now without any major delays.
Thank you, as ever, for lending your keen, insightful eye, mdauben!