SIYE Time:16:03 on 26th October 2021

Reviews For Splinters

Reviewer: DeadFish37 Signed Date: 2021.05.03 - 06:07PM Title: Good Guessers

This was enjoyable, but somewhat confusing also. The thestral thing came very much out of the blue, and even when all is done, I can't recognise any clues in the plot that Malfoy's aim was to damage the wand, and not to kill the Publican. Evidently, I will have to reread this to improve my grasp of the details. I'm also not sure how much was added by including as much as you did from the dystopian universe.

Author's Response:

Hey there! Great that you got some enjoyment from the whirl!

I seem to recall a fair number of my original readers going back for a second run through, to arrange the twists into a semi-coherent twine. Each of the final developments is presaged by early hints, scattered about, but I deliberately avoided heavy hinting. A few sharp wits did spot several key points way before I thought they would but, kind of by design, most readers stumbled around in the dark until the end... and a fair number remained a bit disoriented until a second read-through.

For the record, the Thestral foreboding arose way back in Chapter 6. And, on the different matter of Malfoy's modus, one might ask the famous question of, "What did he know and when did he know it?" On one hand, the man is quite secretive in his schemes and methods, but it's also true that protagonists, antagonists and readers alike are constantly adapting to a shifting landscape of actions and consequences throughout.

Finally, the alt-1998 was originally crafted as a plot device. Specifically, my goal was that the readers' exposure to the alt-1998 would grow after any instance when matters got dicier for the 1995 characters. Each precariously trodden butterfly (as in the Bradbury story) would spur a greater glimpse of future dystopia. All that said, as a writer, I began to fall in love with the motley 1998 gang, which breathed fuller life into the alt-characters and their narrative. Too much perhaps? Likely too much for some people, though others went the other way and asked for a more satisfactory resolution to the 1998 subplot... which I delivered in a separate 80,000 word story which I suspect confused/abused/amused its readers even more than Splinters :)

Either way, thank you sincerely for the comments, thoughts and patience!

Reviewer: Cringefests Signed Date: 2021.03.16 - 02:29PM Title: Never Let Fall


No review

Author's Response: Thank you kindly, Cringefests! Cool name, by the way.

Reviewer: rebelgoddess Signed Date: 2020.02.16 - 12:47PM Title: Good Guessers


Well that was a lovely story well-told. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I especially liked the way you interwove Hermione's plot through Ginny and Harry's so it all integrated.

Author's Response:

Ah! Quite surprised to see a review.

I still enjoy catching the glimpse into the mind of some reader who, for all I know, could be half a world away.

And the half-world-away bit brings me back to the poignancy of hauling some young lass over (literally) a half world to tip the balance in a bizarre caper that she ought never have had any idea she had anything to do with...

Sorry -- still a bit self-pleased with some of those twists :) Truth be told, while I was certainly still learning to hone my words when I wrote Splinters, the story is quite likely still my most creative. There was no formula; no crutches to hang on, just i) a flow of scenes to crisscross from crisis to resolution and ii) a powerful infatuation with the characters I was fostering.Anyway, it was fun, and I'm glad to hear you got a bit of enjoyment from it too.

Reviewer: Gin110881 Signed Date: 2017.11.11 - 04:16AM Title: Good Guessers

I'm back from holidays and I did my homework, I re-read Splinters. I'd already planned re-reading Splinters for a while, the Fires of Time have been a welcome occasion to finally take action.

Re-reading Splinters was as much fun as it was the first time. It's been my experience that it's obviously easier to grasp the many transitions between characters and timelines when reading the entire story in one go, and not from update to update. Some details seemed much more obvious and understandable than the first time, so many months ago. Well, part of the reason might also be that I simply forgot some (many?) details I've rediscovered now.

I remember that at that time I was desperately trying to find the solution to a mystery in every single scene with a transition between characters and time levels. Today I can easily admit that it's much easier to just stay relaxed and read on. That's a lesson that will hopefully help me with FoT, well, besides refreshing a lot of details from Splinters, of course.

As I already said almost two years ago, it's really a brilliant story!

Author's Response:

Welcome back to the wonderful land of fanfic. Must take a closer look at Gnats to see where they, and the Nargles, finally ended up.

So flattered that you took the time to re-read Splinters! Yes, I think that if I was giving advice to an analytically-oriented reader, I would likely suggest devoting the first read to just letting the word and images flow. Most of my works are conventional stories, but several, like Tijdvelt, Friendship Stone, Splinters, and now Fires, are 'art' first and story second. In all of those cases, the story comes at you in mists and flakes, and in the end a semi-complete tale lies about you like a field of new fallen snow, but it may well be that the journey (the storm) is a colourful swirl as entertaining as the plot.

Anyway, thank you most kindly for another thoughtful note!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.07 - 08:06AM Title: Good Guessers


What a perfect concluding sentiment! As you well know, I have been absorbed by this story. As you can see by Harry's inheritance in my retelling of the Epilogue, I have a burning curiosity about Harry's relationship to the brothers Peverell. By putting "Peverell's Rest" among the Potters' line of inheritance I had hoped to set up a story about them being Harry's ancestors. Unfortunately, the plot bunny (as in story, not grave site) never came to me. Now I can let it go, for you have covered it definitively! Obviously, for numerous reasons, I loved this story ... These stories! Thank you ever so much for the incredible amount of work you committed to this work, for the intricate plot lines, and for the superb writing! I always assume English is a second or third language for many FF writers! Not so for you! Good grammar and diversity of vocabulary go a long way toward making a story enjoyable! You have generally excelled in all areas of exceptional creative writing. Thanks again! Now I must choose between editing and rewriting my story or finding another you yours to peruse. That is a good thing about being a relative late comer to this site! Almost everything is new to me!

Author's Response:

Well, as a latecomer to responding to your final Splinters review, I see that it's too late for me to persuade you to attend first to your excellent Epilogue. Oh well, I'm most grateful for your comments on Biscuits -- a story I'm nearly as partial to as I was to Splinters :)

Interesting that you've also invested energy pondering the Peverell link. If ever you felt inspired, I would be tickled to see someone run with the very basic premise that I outlined. My own thoughts have gone very little beyond what you now know: at some point, perhaps 15-25 years after AD 61 (perhaps one could align it with a major Roman historical event) Ignotus will indeed encounter Antioch and Cadmus. The latter two, though sworn to not harm their brother, will still be dark wizards but yet circumstances will indeed somehow lead to a tenuous alliance against 'Death' which might (as alluded) be a euphemism for a terrifying dark cabal or... might not be. After all, none of the texts Lupin, Hermione, Harry or Ginny encountered could offer much more than speculation.

The one other perturbation to Beedle's tale is, of course, that in this one Ignotus would have a twin sister -- perhaps one who might remain in the background, but nonetheless one who has an unusual magical connection to our two favourite 20th century magical protagonists.

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.07 - 06:27AM Title: Many Unto One


Wow! I am going to have to re-read, but I did not follow the ends of Hettie and Ginema well enough. I expected them to simply disappear, their outcomes no longer possible, but there was that bit about returning to their equally possible timelines. Maybe we don't see these events because they never existed once the rift in time was repaired. Maybe I have watched too much Dr. Who? Oh, my! LOL! I look forward to the wrap-up of this fabulous, mind-stretching story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, and I am sorry to be so late to the party!

Author's Response:

Your confusion raises a good point. Here's how I address it: after the Thestral is *not* killed, then the catastrophe that shattered time has no longer truly occurred... however there is still the irreconcilable paradox that Hettie Gravener is wandering around in AD 61 with two brooches in her shift, and one on the ground for her to sit upon. These still represent an unhealed rift in time that, when she stacks them, is finally closed.

In the blinding flash of white after Hettie stacks the brooches, there is thus 'closure'.

What then truly happens to the dystopic future that contained Hettie and Gemina? It may be impossible to say, since perhaps there are quantum alternate realities in which Schrodinger's Hettie fails to stack the brooches... but one would assume that those realities would never be able to interact with the one where H,G & H stumble back into late morning 1995 Grimmauld Place, now prepared to ramp toward the final victory over Riddle. Unless, of course, some strange magic were to intercede. No room for strange magic in a story like this, yeah?

Oh, and incidentally, the fact that the Roman name of Lanossea's and Peuerellius's daughter is also Gemina is... a quirk that I intentionally avoid explaining ;)

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!

Author's Response:

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: 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!

So many things to talk about, but I have a lunch appointment and I still need to dress. Dumbledore is an asshat! Hermione's and Sirius get major props. I snickered so hard when Sirius sarcastically offers Molly the deed to Number 12, Grimmauld Place! Perfectly in character for both, by the way. Finally, your description of someplace worse than Hell. You nailed my own worst fear for the next great adventure! Perfectly awful and completely terrifying! For what it is worth, I was an Episcopalian priest in an earlier stage of my life, so I have reflected on the subject. I cannot imagine being lost in a total void withou becoming completely unglued. I'd an an exclamation point, but my iPad has run out of them in this review! Oops!!!

Author's Response:

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: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.06 - 02:26AM Title: Very Very Wrong


memento mei ' spells b Literally, figuratively, or both, Harry will return to Ginny, or she will find and catch him, thereby keeping him from falling. Methinks the phrase means more than just finding there way back to the battle in 61 A.D.

Author's Response:

Ah! 'Memento mei' would indeed have been a perfect little double entendre, wouldn't it have?

Unfortunately, although your perception of the outcome (one of two options, I should say) is spot on, I didn't actually employ the memory device symbolism.

Great observation, as it would have been very much in my character though!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.05 - 03:16AM Title: Invenies in Tenebris


Turning the page at 2:15 ... Too engrossed to stop!

Author's Response:

Oh dear -- got you trapped, yeah?

Your nocturnal ponderings lured you into what may be my own personal favourite chapter -- one in which mysteries swirl in and out of focus.

Not sure, personally, if I would have tackled it at 2:15 a.m. though. It might mess with your dreams :)

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.05 - 01:33AM Title: Lines and Antipodes


Very nicely done! You have me coming to despise Albus Dumblefore and his arrogant use of brain scans. I have read so many fan ficus in which Legilimency is against Wizarding law, but I believe the written canon of JKR is silent on that, or suggests such behavior is merely rude, like Apparating into someone's house directly. Do you know definitively?

Author's Response:

Excellent question about Legilimency -- one that I hadn't explored explicitly until now.

The most reliable, community validated sources (HP Lexicon & HP Wikia) both agree that Legilimency is very unlikely to be illegal (neither Dumbledore nor Snape are hesitant to admit the skill) but quite likely the teaching and use of Legilimency is legally regulated, in a manner comparable to Veritaserum.

So, not a definitive answer, but the composite canonical evidence for those stances is reasonably strong.

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.04 - 06:26PM Title: Sister Awakening


It is quite unusual for me to review almost every chapter! I am enjoying the mounting complexity and the rising tension ... not to mention the increasing romance! Good work, this!

Author's Response:

Well, I certainly appreciate the nuanced tour back through the story. It had been a while since writing and receiving the bulk of reviews, so an opportunity to come back to it with a new reader's perspectives (and my own concurrent re-reading) has been fun.

Thus, my gratitude!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.04 - 01:10PM Title: Camulodunum


With each passing chapter I seem to recognize additional aspects of your writing -- not that they haven't always been present, just that I have taken notice -- and this time it is your ability to describe things well enough to grab the imagination, yet vaguely enough to leave open numerous possibilities! Great way to allow yourself room for surprises and complex plot twists! Thanks for sharing your gifts with us!

Author's Response:

Thank you for saying that!

I don't always succeed, but in my more recent stories I have indeed sought the balance of detail -- enough to engage readers; not so much as to swamp them. One of my favourite tactics is to divulge many details only through dialogue -- rely on key characters to make just the right comments (in recalling a scene we don't directly experience; in observing background details; etc.) in that it plays upon how many of us form opinions in real life. A friend may chat with us later about a meeting, and relate only one key detail or brief anecdote that, to them, defines the meeting. Sometimes we may ask for clarification, but often it's perfectly satisfying to just absorb that lone shred and imagine everything else.

Different people write in different ways, but personally I think the above tactic is a key difference between a story-teller and a chronicler. I can do both, but I find the former more enjoyable.

And yes, as you astutely point out, the flexibility of ambiguity does indeed give the authour more improvisational control over the unfolding and steering of the plot.

Nice observation -- thanks again!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.04 - 04:56AM Title: No Greater Sacrifice


I feel like I have traversed a field of land mines! So many things going on and one wrong step means, "kaboom!" How well was Ginny able to protect her mind? That Albus is getting shifty, using Legilimency on Ginny! Arse! Sometimes I just need to pick up one of the stories that depict Dumbledore as an evil, controlling bastard! But I digress! Does Hermione's not already know too much? Couldn't Dumbledorepenetrate her mind as easily as Ginny's or more so. Risky! Especially since Hermione's is more apt to run off after authority figures' blessings than is Ginny. But speaking of, not too crafty by our favorite and most crafty witch! Interrogate Dumbledore about the Elder Wand and then asking to see his wand????? Where is her crafty, sneaky, sublety? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Finally, how is Ginny feeling sympathetic morning sickness for the princess? I assume that's what is going on, unless they were up to more than dreaming while curled up together! Great stuff!

Author's Response:

A minefield, indeed! We did see in chapter 6 that there are times when serious mistakes may be amended through sheer force of will, but the further they are along the path, the fewer the opportunities will be for correction; the higher the stakes.

Was it a mistake for Ginny to trigger Dumbledore's tripwire? I think so, as that clearly placed a target on her back. The tradeoff is, though, that she got useful information.

Was it a mistake to Let Hermione charge ahead on a non-traditional role? In this case, I don't think so. More of a cross between calculated risk, and making the best of a bad situation. The risk you delineate is real (Hermione does know enough to pose a problem), but having her run interference is a useful buy for time. Time, of course, is the invaluable currency of the story. The question, then, is whether Hermione can buy enough of it...?

Finally, congratulations on coming to the 'morning sickness' conclusion faster than any other reviewer. Apparently the careful, deliberate reading pays off!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.04 - 02:09AM Title: Knowing

Goodness, I hate to disagree with other reviewers who are probably dramatically more esteemed than I, but I am glad you didn't take us through he entire trial! We read it. We saw an only slightly modified version in the movie. No need to tell us too much of what we already know! Hmmm? I wonder from whom I have heard that advice before???

Author's Response:

Agreed about the trial. In truth, I somewhat defanged the whole thing anyway, by having Harry decide that there were worse things than being denied his spot at Hogwarts, so Rowling's own drama would be diminished. Besides, the trial is far less important to the plot than is the opportunity to have Harry confront Malfoy, and Ginny meet Duff and Dumbledore.

Anyway, I frequently do turn reader suggestions into real revisions, but in this case I left things as is, assuming that diligent readers would fairly quickly reach the point where you and I are.

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.02 - 02:41AM Title: Knowing


Yes! Home!

Author's Response:

Happy, happy!

This is actually a bit like the end of 'book one of two'. Things are not 'unromantic' from this point forward, but perhaps the best way to phrase it is -- the team is set; now let's get work.

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.02 - 01:18AM Title: Hope

OOPS! I forgot I had already started the next chapter, then gone to teach class. So, excused the confluence of subjects in my prior review, please!

Author's Response: No problem whatsoever! Given some config peculiarities on this site, I've ended up with no end of late-chapter comments compiled in Chapter 1 reviews, so having a bit of feedback only one chapter early seems perfectly reasonable ;)

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.02 - 01:14AM Title: Hope


Love the tension at the end! Who can be trusted, especially at the Ministry? Loved the way you brought Hermione's around! I have read so much FF in which Hermione's less desirable characteristics are emphasized and she is shown to be viciously hateful if, for even a moment, she is overshadowed. But there had to be a reason she was beaming when Harry finally pulled his head out of neutral and kissed Ginny! Thank you!

Author's Response:

The tension! Yes, in writing this story I was careful to not undermine the reticence Rowling built Harry's romantic instincts -- the struggles between a teenager's natural instincts and all of the real reasons someone like Harry has to eschew that sort of bond. Of course, JKR never (through Deathly Hallows) quite packaged Ginny as quite the whole-complement match for him that we all knew she could have been. So, given an emboldened and enlightened Ginny, shall we pay heed to canonical considerations... and let her break through?

And then there's Hermione. Anyone who stopped reading midway through PoA would have been fully justified in writing her off as a priggish pain in the neck, and that whole S.P.E.W. thing (in which JKR is supposedly poking fun at her own Amnesty International stridency) didn't help. However, the Hermione we see in Deathly Hallows is balanced, supportive, and heroic. This is a story (as you'll see) where I let Ms. Granger discover such qualities a bit early. And you'll also see that it is not easy for her to sacrifice the status as Harry's beta, but... well, you'll see :)

Thank you very much for your kind comments!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.02.01 - 02:41PM Title: A Godson and a Princess


I'm just going to leave a short note to say how exciting this is as I hurry to turn the chapter page! Truth ber too, I already turned it, then cam back brecause I realized you deserved a review and a 10!

Author's Response:

Ah, merveilleux! I have to admit, personally, that I'm not always the best reviewer in giving each chapter its due, however I do know that authors greatly appreciate incremental feedback.

So, thank you again, o' Iarwain Ben-adar!

Reviewer: TomBombadil Signed Date: 2017.01.31 - 07:21PM Title: Enemy Eyes


Wow! I never, ever, ever, expected Lucius to be the Legate in the current time period! Fantastic twist! And thank you! My mind has been screaming for Harry and Ginny, in whatever time period, to recognize what isd develping between them. Words escape my capacity to describe how much I am enjoying these stories! Oh, well, I didn't need to post another chapter today!

Author's Response:

Ah! Sorry to have slowed the posting of another of your chapters; I'll be on the lookout for it in the queue!

That said, I'm distinctly gladdened that you're enjoying the tour!

Yes indeed -- Lucius. One small point to raise though, to suggest you rethink your phrase "in the current time period". I know what you're saying in that phrase, however there is a subtle distinction to be considered.

And yes, the next few chapters yield increasing recognition to what we all hope is inevitable. But, for the sake of the genre, I fear it can't be perfectly easy :)

Thank you for another very thought-provoking review!

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