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SIYE Time:19:59 on 21st April 2021


Reviewer: hms42 Signed Date: 2008.03.18 - 10:58PM Title: The Doors of Perception

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Reviewer: ninkenate Signed Date: 2007.02.05 - 07:51PM Title: The Doors of Perception

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I'm glad you pointed me in the direction of this story. It was well worth the read. I truly believe in everything you said in your author's notes. I may love to see drama between Harry and Ginny in fanfiction but I don't think Ginny will cause an uproar for Harry because she truly understands why he's doing the things he is. I hate that Harry had to do something so dark but it is war and he will have to do things others wouldn't expect from him normally. That Ginny realized what had truly happened shows how well she knew Harry or how smart she really is.

Can't wait to read more from you. That was definitely twisty as you said it would be ;)

Author's Response: Glad you came over to give it a read. As many have pointed out privately, it\'s a little sub-par for my current standards, and the process of trying to convert it and fix it for posting outside of SIYE is just ... err. Too much work at the moment. I\'ve got a few one-shots laying around that need my attention more, as they haven\'t been posted yet. And, of course, there\'s the continuing Echoes chapters. Not a twist there, never, of course not. Anyway, glad you liked it. And watch out for that rug...



Reviewer: Phishbulb Anonymous Date: 2006.07.16 - 12:34AM Title: The Doors of Perception

Not that it matters or anything but I think you got completely screwed on that whole challenge thing. I read the winner and wasnít that impressed. On your "contortion scale of forced plot pointsĒ I thought that the winner was running way the hell up there in more than one case. Iím not sure what the judges were looking at but for a story like yours to be ignored is unfortunate. This site needs better writers and you are by far one of the best Iíve read lately.

It seems as if youíve written yourself into a smaller audience than you might deserve. Most of the H/G Iíve seen seems to be written for an audience that wants to see a feisty Ginny-sue slapping some sense into Harry (whatever the hell that means). On the other hand, a good number of people who wants to read a strong Harry who stands up for himself doesnít want him to be saddled with Ginny. In both of your stories you seem to have walked between both groups, and it looks like youíre not getting the recognition you deserve.

I guess this is just a long, selfish way of me saying please donít stop writing like this. There are so few good writers out there, and even fewer quality H/G writers. I hope you are able to find some enjoyment in all of this, even if you donít get the recognition your stories warrant.


Author's Response: For the record, as I told my betas, I was saddled with an evil plot bunny that wouldn\'t leave me alone -- but I never expected to win anything. In reality, by only posting on this site, I always bear in mind that the audience here is a different type than the audiences elsehwere. This is neither good nor bad -- it simply is.

Writing as a means of garnering attention for awards, reviews, or the like I\'ve never really cared for. I\'m happy that there are people out there that find the stories interesting and, what I truly hope for, thought provoking. I\'m always happy when someone cares enough to leave a review. I\'m not disappointed by not winning or not being nominated for some award or anything of that sort -- I\'m happy that people choose to read. That\'s enough for me.

That said, thanks for the kind words. A lot of people put time and effort into their stories -- challenge or otherwise -- so I don\'t feel that I got the short end of the stick or anything. I think the audience at SIYE has a large orientation to the types of stories that do win, which is fine -- I really enjoyed cwarbeck\'s story, for example. There\'s nothing wrong with not being mainstream :)

Thanks for the kind words, and for reading.

[Respond: In Review]


Reviewer: lecook4 Signed Date: 2006.07.03 - 01:50PM Title: The Doors of Perception

I guess it is really all in "perception." (Groans to very bad pun) :-) You did state some issues that are very thought provoking in your response to my review. Can't wait to see how JK handles it.

Author's Response: Yeah, puns abound it seems with stories like this :)

Thanks for being open-minded. I do think the issues you raised are valid, but I don\'t think it\'s quite as one-sided as it might seem ... First impressions and all that.

I\'m curious to see how JKR handles a lot of the little niggling things in the final Book. As my betas know, I\'m 50-50 on whether Harry will even survive the story arc.



Reviewer: lecook4 Signed Date: 2006.07.02 - 06:53PM Title: The Doors of Perception

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Read for Judging. Good luck with the comptetition.


I enjoyed this fic immensely. It is a good stand alone fic without the the contest. You are only one of two so far that I've read that did this entire story and also worked in the seven bonus phrases beautifully. Kudos for that.

I do take issue with Harry killing Draco, for two reasons - one he has stated throughout all the books that he is not a murderer and is not sure how he will end up defeating Voldemort - and second - even if Harry could bring himself to kill, he couldn't kill someone who is, still at this point in time, innocent of actual murder. Drace was a DE and was out to kill Dumbledore, but he couldn't and didn't. All that he was guilty of was plotting to do it. Harry wouldn't kill someone who was only due some jail time. It just isn't in his nature to be a cold blooded murderer and that is what he would be if he killed Draco. Now if it were Snape that would be different. Snape did actually kill someone and he would be within the law to bring equal justice.


With that said, it still made for a very interesting read and the final part between Harry and Ginny was very thought provoking. An altogether excellent fic.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review and thoughtful commentary. I\'m glad you find the story sufficiently set up that it can alone.

The issue you raise with Draco is valid, but I\'d like to offer a counter-perspective for a moment. Some legal systems in the world make a distinction between attempted murder and actual murder. Other systems do not.

Taken one step back, Draco is guilty of multiple counts of attempted murder in canon. Cursed necklace, poisoned mead, even some of his more dubious Quidditch manipulations or the like. Is he innocent of murder? Only by luck. Did he attempt those things with his own hand? He did Imperio Madame Rosemerta, for example, so yes, he did it by his own hand -- even if his hand was removed by one degree. It is by his hand that he led many death eaters, even Fenrir himself, into the castle and they would have killed a great many had it not been for Felix\'s aid. That would be a lot of attempted murder charges right there.

Draco is the worst type of villain. Too cowardly to do the work directly, but too stupid to avoid getting embroiled. So he will provide the tools and incentives to get others to do his dirty work for him, and layer himself in bold words to bury his fears and self doubts and the burning realization that ultimately, he is nothing. For Draco Malfoy, being nothing is on par to being a Muggle.

If you are a fan that someone who attempted to kill you deserves a lesser sentence (thereby earning the right to try again to kill you), then yes, Harry\'s actions were hard to take.

If you are a fan, however, of the attempt at crime being just as valid as the actual success of the crime, then Harry\'s actions -- while rough -- are justice delivered.

Outside of which system of justice you prefer, there is a bigger picture here. Given the great many people that Draco attempted to murder, and the means he employed by which to do so, what would happen if he left Draco alive? Would he pull another Hogwarts-invasion scheme off and be more successful in killing? Would he continue to send poisoned mead or cursed objects to others?

Is it the fact that Harry ended Draco\'s suffering very quickly, but painfully, as opposed to letting him slowly bleed to death by doing nothing, that bothers you?

These are all hard topics and hard questions. Harry, in JKR\'s Book 7, is going to have to start answering some of them.



Reviewer: Jim McGuffin Signed Date: 2006.07.02 - 02:27AM Title: The Doors of Perception

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Judged for competition.

Let me say that this fic works on many different levels. It definitely fulfills the challenge parameters, with the Death Eater victim being the youngest of all -- Draco. I enjoyed reading about the battles Harry had with Theodore Nott and the creatures from earlier books, namely Fluffy and the hippogryffs.

This is the second challenge entry I've read so far in which the killer turned out to be Harry. In fact, this brings up an important issue that has been looming ever since the Prophecy is revealed at the end of OotP -- if Harry kills Voldemort or any Death Eater, does this make Harry as morally reprehensible as Voldie? Then who is to say that Harry is the good guy and Voldie is the bad guy anyway?

As was pointed out by other reviewers, this is what Ginny asks at the end of this fic, and you reveal some of the reasons that H/G break up at the end of HBP.

Overall, excellent fic. I wish you luck in the challenge.

Author's Response: Thanks for the generous comments. The entire chase scene was fun to write, and met the cravings that \'cwarbeck\' expressed to me. I\'m glad my little chapter has capture such a wide variety of responses.

Harry ultimately, in canon, is going to have to kill or be killed. I think he\'s reached that point now, where he knows the full stakes, and understands in a far darker way than he really ought to for his age just what the cost is going to be. Will his humanity survive? It all depends on how you define humanity.

Thanks for the feedback.



Reviewer: jacsmompat Signed Date: 2006.06.28 - 06:39PM Title: The Doors of Perception

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excellent story. read for challenge
Jac and mom

Author's Response: Thanks for the feedback...



Reviewer: Phishbulb Anonymous Date: 2006.06.27 - 06:56PM Title: The Doors of Perception

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Easily the best of the challenge fics. Also, this is the probably the only one that works as a story in its own right. You seemed to blend in some of the challenge requirements quite well, nothing really stood out as being forced, aside from perhaps the very fact that students would somehow feel entitled to contaminate a crime scene. Seeing as how that's the basis of the challenge, I can't really hold that against you. Having Harry seemingly recognize this, or perhaps just not want to be bothered with it, was a nice touch.

There were two other plot points that I did question while reading. First, I didnít think that the Marauderís Map would work on a train. I know that you needed for Harry to be able to spot Nott and Malfoy some way, but this stuck out as perhaps being a little too convenient. Second, itís been established that invisibility cloaks are both rare and expensive. For Nott to use one, ineffectively as well, to cover up the murder when simply opening the window and chucking Malfoy out would have sufficed seemed a bit odd as well.

I thought that the chase scene was well done, and I did notice the similarity to Indiana Jones. Ron and Harryís exchange concerning the floating evidence bag stands out as being one of the most genuinely amusing parts of this challenge. I liked Harryís tone throughout. He acted exactly how I would expect someone who had just been through what he has been through to act. I have no problem with him killing Malfoy. It might just be that Iíve seen to many instances where Malfoy is given sanctuary by the Order for some inexplicable reason but this seemed like the most realistic response to meeting up with Malfoy after HBP.

I thought that the closing conversation between Harry and Ginny was exceptional. I honestly wish that everyone writing a post HBP fic would cut and paste it for their own stories. It shows a remarkable bit of strength for both Harry and Ginny and shows a maturity far beyond their ages. I much prefer this approach to the more common immediate reconciliation after a Ginny hissy-fit. This was a great way to end the story.

Excellent story. Thanks for writing it.


Author's Response: Thanks for the generous assessment. Students investigating a crime does seem a bit odd, doesn\'t it? But then, the whole way that canon HP works with crimes and \"investigations\" I find odd too (ie, lack thereof).

To address your spot-on comments ...

The Map : I thought it was clear that the Map doesn\'t work on the train -- on the platform, yes, on the grounds yes, on the train, no. I guess I\'ll have to be more careful of details like that in the future. I tend to think that the original creators, being the pranksters they were and roaming freely outside, would have made the Map work beyond the walls of the castle. After all, a Stag is Not A Small Animal, and Rather Conspicuous to boot. To remain secret, they\'d need to be secret outside, too -- until they were in the woods, at any rate. Evne then, they\'d need to \"see\" a little bit in to be sure students weren\'t coming back in from detentions or the like. If Hogwarts is set up like most English towns Iv\'e seen with Rail, then the train station would be somewhere between the castle and the town itself. While I chose to use the Map and enhance what it covered, and had to do a rather slight contortion for that to work, I hope that on the \"contortion\" scale of forced plot points it rates less than 3 out of 10.

The thing with the cloak is valid, but take a step back and re-consider Nott\'s choices. The students were already starting to show up on the platform. He had no idea when anyone would be coming onto the train. Throwing a body out the window, in cloak or not, is risky -- opening the window makes noise, blood trails, body becomign uncovered, etc. I agree that leaving the cloak was dubious, and that\'s probably closer to a 4 out of 10 contortion, but I think it can be justified in multiple ways... although I made no effort to do so in the story. In essence, I agree -- that probably should have been handled better.

I\'m glad you enjoyed the story overall, with its strengths and weaknesses. I agree about Ginny\'s comments, but again, the underlying wisdom there -- and some of the very words she uses -- are all due to the insight of Chreechree. I give her full credit for educating me so that I could try and pass it along to others. I also wish that most post-HBP authors would understand that passage before writing their stories.

Thanks for the insightful review!

[Respond: In Review]


Reviewer: Chreechree Signed Date: 2006.06.26 - 05:56PM Title: The Doors of Perception

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Well, I was hoping for more reviews to be up before I said anything, but we all know about that. I do think those last few tweaks really made a great difference. Nice fix with the now removed ennervate spell. Yeah, Harry can just shake Draco awake since he bumped his head and wasn't stunned. Simple, eh? You tell a good story, Josh.

Author's Response: I suspect that the average reader who might normally review either doesn\'t know how to review it, or finds the ending unpalatable.

Thanks for the compliment. Sorry it doesn\'t look like your wisdom is getting out there based on hit counts.



Reviewer: Athea Signed Date: 2006.06.26 - 09:21AM Title: The Doors of Perception

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I always enjoy seeing a bit of Malfoy torture. I'm not sure I liked that Harry had a hand in killing a defenseless man, even if it was Malfoy, but I can accept that. I also loved Ginny's speech at the end. I thought the end of HBP really gave us some insight into her maturity. You expanded upon that nicely.

Author's Response: For the record, I\'m don\'t think Harry likes what he\'s done. Several parts of the story try to convey that. Did Malfoy deserve death? Definitely. Did he deserve to die in a very fast albeit painful manner from that necklace? Depends on your personal beliefs. Does Harry regret what he did? Yes, and I think the story does say that. There\'s only so much that Harry is going to be able to take before he starts pushing back, and in doing so, he\'s going to cross the line...

Ginny\'s comments at the end are all due to the insight and explanations by Chreechree. I give her all credit for teaching me that.



Reviewer: hpf2114 Signed Date: 2006.06.26 - 09:00AM Title: The Doors of Perception

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Reviewer: Sovran Signed Date: 2006.06.25 - 03:05AM Title: The Doors of Perception

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Excellent. This is a great story for taking the challenge parameters and making the result mean something in the larger context. It filled in some gaps in Ginny's behavior, as you mentioned, and gave us just a bit more closure (which we needed) than HBP. Ginny's reason, as we've discussed, is just about the only one that really works, and we needed to hear it stated more clearly.

"Ron nodded at Harry and then the Wizard's Chess set he had setup on the bench, asking silently if Harry wanted to play. Harry felt he would rather amputate his leg with a dull rock, but if it would make time pass more quickly, then he would suffer through more defeats at the merciless hands of Ron."
That alone should qualify this fic for the humor category.

Nice job keeping it from being obvious from the start. All the hints were there, but they didn't jump out and beat you over the head.

Your harry/ginny interaction, especially the nonverbal stuff, was wonderful. It's nice to see how you write them outside the context of Echoes.

Now, please, for the love of socks and kittens, don't pursue any plot bunnies you've picked up around me. Please.

Author's Response: Thanks for the feedback. I\'m glad you enjoyed it. The original version was much more subtle according to my betas... and it left huge gaps that the reader would need guesswork and multiple readings to fill in. This version isn\'t spoon fed, but it does give most of the answers to a first reading.

Plot bunnies? I have no knowledge of what you speak... mmm... fried bunny for dinner... mmm...

Actually, I was briefly toying with a parody plot last night, but I managed to over-come the urge. I think. It would have been another Murder challenge thing, anyway.

On the Wizard\'s Chess thing ... (1) I have no idea how Harry tolerates playing Ron _all the time_ and losing _all the time_ and never really getting better. (2) When you\'re feeling oent up and caged and wanting to be out, Out, OUT, then the last thing you usually want to do is sit still and engage in thinking activities. So, with my usual penchant for sarcasm, well.... guilty, I suppose.



Reviewer: cwarbeck Signed Date: 2006.06.25 - 02:39AM Title: The Doors of Perception

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I feel funny reviewing something I've read before anyone else, but as you know, I'm very proud to have been the one to bully you into doing this challenge fic. I love it - the rooftop chase scene, the different animals in the carriages, I wonder if anyone else has picked up the references to Indiana Jones 3? And the UV light ala CSI?

I like Ginny's closing speech as well. It shows her strength of character that Christine and I believe most people overlook when they read that parting scene in HBP. Good job, Josh.

Author's Response: Well, no reviewers have left comments about it. But then, with the typical review-to-reader ratio, I\'m not sure enough will review that someone points it out.

That said, I\'m sad that no one has picked up on Luna\'s question at the very beginning.

I agree with Ginny\'s take on things. I just wish JKR had put something like that in Bk6.



Reviewer: Kiss Magdalena Signed Date: 2006.06.25 - 01:49AM Title: The Doors of Perception

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The ending was astounding. I was most impressed by the final paragraph, where Ginny lets Harry go. I think this a worthy interpretion of the events set in motion by HBP. Excellent work.

Author's Response: Thanks for the feedback. The rationale is all Chreechree, so credit goes to her. I agree, it\'s about the only interpretation that works. Any other view tends to make me want to burn a book. Sigh.




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