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for If not for Umbridge

18h c36 cameron1812
Love Harry's reaction to Minerva when she comes to get him and to seeing Sirius at Hogwarts!
7/4 c36 shenge86
Super good as expected.
6/24 c36 9Freudentraene
Thanks for another chapter! I particularly liked the ending with Daphne and her family.
6/24 c36 Ravensflock
I really liked this story at first but you give Harry Potter less backbone then an eel in this story and I don’t like that
6/24 c36 9CaskettFan5
So, their mother doesn't have a heart of stone after all, she only acts like it. I like the bootcamp idea. The adults finally do something to help, something that should have happened more in canon. I found the Sirius/Amelia conversation to be compelling (and depressing, but that's normal for the situation).
6/24 c36 2mwinter1
Awaiting more
6/24 c36 3alix33
I like it that Sirius is using the Room of Requirement to train Harry, Hermione, Tracey and possibly quite soon Daphne and Astoria up.
6/5 c35 follz
First off, well done on most of this story. You write well and you have developed some characters admirably. Your dialogue is also far better than most.

I think it's quite obvious that this fic is Daphne-centric, so fair warning to anyone reading this. Sure, Harry is a close secondary character even though the entire story revolves around him more or less.

Your Daphne is well developed and, unlike most fanfics, you've given her some depth. You've also managed to give the periphery characters something more than just being filler or mere sounding boards for the main characters and for that, you should be applauded.

My main complaint with this story is Harry. He's actually more passive, helpless and weaker than his cannon counterpart. Whether you've meant to or not, you've made him weaker because of his almost utter dependence on Daphne. It's explicitly stated on many occasions how Harry wouldn't be able to cope without her, how he wouldn't know what to do without her or how much he's come to rely on her. In attempting to build up a connection and closeness between them, you've made her a crutch for our supposed 'hero'.

I know it's a difficult balance to achieve with a a love story; creating that connection without having them becoming an amorphous blob of dependency and weakness between one another. Unfortunately, that's what I think has happened here.

Harry has not done one noteworthy thing in this entire story. He's apparently important because of prophecy, which is essentially nothing more than a canon retread. JKR had written herself into such a corner with respect to Harry towards the conclusion of the story, that she had to invent insipid wand 'allegiances' as a plot device to make things work out. Harry, after all, was either written as a completely ordinary kid or utterly amazing depending on the dire need of the moment. This made for some very wonky and contradictory (not to mention frustrating) storytelling and most FF writers fall into the same trap, much like this one IMO.

In this story, Harry has essentially traded being carried by Hermione in cannon to being carried by Daphne (but also somewhat carried again by Hermione). After all, Daphne is also resourceful, determined, smart, knowledgeable and brave just like Hermione. Harry, on the other hand, is a lost puppy pining after Dumbledore, pining after Daphne, is ordinary at apparently everything and being entirely reliant on his mates to get rid of his Horcrux. He also had to be rescued from his own mind by Daphne, again removing a potential moment for development and strength. The only noteworthy thing he's done so far is teach the DA which become irrelevant the moment Umbridge was ousted. See the problem? Even the battle at the ministry was taken away from him (kudos though for diverging from canon) whereas this time, you could have made him far more consequential and dangerous than he was in canon. The problem with taking it away and having Harry once again incapacitated is that it was replaced by nothing. He's essentially been stuck in a hospital bed while others are out there fighting and dying and he's done absolutely nothing. The only reason he's important is because what's stuck in his head and prophecy, that's it. The character himself has done nothing to earn anyone's admiration or respect with his skill, determination or resilience.

The structure of such a narrative is grinding and is far too much like canon to be memorable or redeeming in any way. Remember, everything that Harry ever did of any consequence or merit *happened before everything in this story even happened*.

What I think this story needed was what was promised at Christmas by Sirius. He was, after all, going to train Harry (and Daphne *of course*... because we can't have weak or weaker friends than Harry because Harry isn't allowed to stand above anyone for any reason whatsoever) with "advanced magic". It should have, IMO, been a point where Harry started to pull ahead of his peers including the adults. The problem is we never heard anything about it after that, at least I'm more than certain we didn't as I will admit to a certain amount of skimming in the middle portion of this story when the only thing that was happening was angst filler. This could have been a welcome divergence point from canon where you made Harry more than just a 'hero' of circumstance and chance alone. Instead, it was all forgotten and Harry went back to his cannon-like self dependent on his more capable peers who surround him.

Look, no one wants a story about a completely unstoppable superhero who swats away his foes and problems as if they don't exist. Those stories are the worst kind of FF and are shallow, trite and completely awful. On the other hand, don't just make a cannon retread! Give our hero *something* other than a moniker and circumstances beyond his control. Give him some redeeming qualities, give him some redeeming skills and power, make him consequential to the story, give him something he can rely on, give him *something beyond just another person*.

I can only hope that you make a plot device out of Harry's Horcrux and, once it's gone, Harry can finally spring to life. Instead of the moping child looking to others for answers and depending upon them for everything, may we hope to see some long-awaited and much needed redemption.

I wish you the best of luck and thank you for an otherwise enjoyable read.
5/29 c29 shenge86
Beautiful! Gritty and realistic. I love it!
5/21 c35 Azentra
Oh my goodness...

After finding this story in a review on another fic, I have devoured the entire thing in the last... 48 hours? Needless to say, I absolutely fucking love it.

From the very start until the end of part one it felt so natural and great with the way you set up your characters and their personalities. Daphne and Harry are just amazing together, and their friendship slowly growing into more while they discuss their past and pain, but also just have fun together, absolutely amazing. Then her mother and the complications there, and then that ending with the mind torture and the discovery of the horcrux (fuck you Dumbledore btw). The sheer pain and terror Daphne is feeling at that moment was so clear and beautifully written, absolutely amazing, even though it hurt so much to then we get to part to and everything immediately goes into bat shit crazy mode. The chaos of the war fully starting, the horcrux hunt truly beginning, Harry being told the truth and bring very much in pain, the meeting the mother in law, the beautiful moment when Harry and Daphne see each other again outside the hospital, perfection.
And then it ends with his birthday. Absolutely amazing how you did that and I loved every second of it, but then that ending with her asking if she could stay over, while being so embarrassed and nervous about even asking it. That was so sweet and so cute, and it was the best way to catch up to this story.

All in all, thank you for this amazing story, and I certainly hope to see more of it popping up in my notifications soon!

Greetings,
Azentra
5/15 c35 Richard Smith
Excellent, Keep up the good work
5/12 c15 AraelDranoth
You mentioned Halo... Right. As soon as I get home from work and log in to FF I am favouriting this fic.
5/11 c5 AraelDranoth
Another fantastic chapter to read. Keep up the amazing work!
5/11 c1 AraelDranoth
An excellently written first chapter. Too lazy to log in :)
4/27 c21 5The Durdens Wrath
So. Daphne's mum is just her mom. A Greengrass by marriage. How would she have any control of inheritance or household over the blood heir?
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