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for Two Unbowed Crows

11/20/2023 c24 Addictorator
The story is pretty good, the best that I've read as of late, with a few nitpicks however.

Firstly, onto the good stuff. All the characters are flawed, and three dimensional. The way first year went was great, and Voldemort being trapped in the Mirror of Erised? Chef's kiss. It explains why the puzzles were so easy three first years were able to get in, if it was always meant to be a trap for Voldemort, since he could not retrieve what he desired because it could only be retrieved by one that didn't seek it out of a desire to use it. I always felt that was a bit hand wavey though. Canon Harry knew and wanted the Philosopher's Stone, just to keep it out of Voldemort's hands, not out of a desire to use it personally, so one could justify him being able to retrieve it. But what about Quirrell? He didn't want to use it personally either, but wanted to retrieve it to hand it over to his Lord. It doesn't make sense he wasn't able to get it. Unless of course, he desired the power too, which makes sense, Voldemort must have known, being on the back of his head and all, might have even falsely promised to share the elixir or unimaginable wealth as a reward, so I suppose it's not too farfetched. The fact he served Voldemort at all showed the lengths he was willing to go for power.

But I digress, that's a moot point considering this story. I have read several that went the route of the mirror being a trap for Voldemort, but none where Dumbledore actually successfully imprisons Voldemort in it. Probably because that completely derails canon, but I'm all for that. Reading his mind to discover his horcruxes, Harry and Daphne clawing the Basilisk's eyes out and what followed, all great stuff. Not too sure about the whole, horcrux blowing up the Basilisk's head though. Voldemort's wraith passed through Harry in first year of canon and it didn't do anything but feel cold, they've also destroyed multiple horcruxes by stabbing in close proximity without a blowback. Of course, internal consistency is what matters and not necessary consistency with canon. It was needed to kill the Basilisk without the sword or some truly impressive magic which no second years could possibly know, or preparation ahead such as say... roosters? Couldn't they have conjured roosters, the cries of which kills Basilisks? I'm not sure if conjured animals would work for that purpose though, probably not since why go through all the trouble where Tom possessed Ginny killed all the Roosters on the Hogwarts grounds, drawing attention too. Honestly, smh, canon Tom could have played it way smarter, killed some other animals too just to throw off any potential suspicion as to the nature of the beast, not that it was needed but still. But, that is not to say this way isn't good. Internal consistency. So, I now expect destroying any horcrux in this AU results in a violent magical blowback as the magic contained and the soul shard is destroyed, leading to enough force to blow a hole in the head of a highly magic resistant creature like the Basilisk, that is to say the blast would have been much bigger had the explosion not been contained in the snapped shut jaws of the Basilisk. I assume Dumbledore took suitable precautions when he destroyed the horcruxes in this timeline.

Now, what happened after that in Second Year is a bit more convoluted. Canon Harry and Ron got the Special Award for Services to the School for defeating Tom Riddle and the Serpent of Slytherin in the Chamber of Secrets. That is, with Fawkes' help and Gryffindor's Sword. It makes no sense for Dumbledore to deny Harry and Daphne that, sure they wanted recognition, but for actions they did. It's only reasonable. It's not a privilege, it's what they rightfully deserve, and it made no sense this time around, they weren't given it. It seemed to be a choice made just to make Harry and Daphne hate Dumbledore all the more.

Another nit-pick, Daphne doesn't have any money at the moment since she's disowned, so it doesn't make sense that she was able to go and buy clothes with McGonagall. Harry and Daphne never went shopping for school supplies such as the textbooks between years 1 and 2, or 2 and 3 either. Did they just borrow school textbooks? Did no teacher consider escorting them to Diagon Alley, where Harry could have withdrawn some galleons and they could have gone shopping during the school break? That could have been a nice date out they could have enjoyed.

As for Sirius' death, well my feelings regarding that are complicated. I honestly think he might just have been able to steer Harry and Daphne to a better path than the ones they now tread towards. Neither Harry or Daphne has had good adult role models to look up to, none they could trust. Not even adults, they have literally nobody but each other, not even friends their age. Harry's distanced himself from his friends, activities like Quidditch which he used to enjoy. He's essentially a social pariah by choice now, although there are like one or two interactions such as between him and his dormmates, and even that was used as a device to make Harry realize he liked Daphne and admitting it out loud for the first time. It's just... sad. Sure, it's kind of like the scales are balanced. Voldemort is trapped and not looking like he's going to escape, his horcruxes are getting destroyed one after the other, Daphne is free from her parents' control, and on the other hand Dobby and Sirius are both dead. Things are both lighter and darker than in canon. It made sense how Sirius went out. Harry didn't encounter the Dementors on the train, he and Daphne only began learning the patronus later than canon and not with the same seriousness as canon either, Harry never had to relive his experience of his parents' deaths from Dementor exposure and his boggart remained hooded quirrelmort in the forest. He was also a darker individual and struggled to master the patronus which relied on happy memories and positive emotions, while his blood magic relied on pain and blood, not exactly sunshine and rainbows, so probably not what he was used to at that point. I can also understand Harry and Daphne levitating Sirius Black through the front door causing letters to be sent out and Dementors being dispatched into the castle. What I don't understand is why Harry simply didn't have the foresight to cover Sirius with the invisibility cloak and levitating him, instead of causing the obvious public commotion they did by bringing him through the front door. Or of course, one of them could have kept watch over him while the other went to fetch Dumbledore. The follies of youth I suppose. I really would have appreciated Sirius living at least, it could have provided them both a home and a responsible (well... somewhat) adult figure to watch over them, teach them, and honestly I like the idea of Sirius adopting Daphne as a Black, considering she is disowned and no longer a Greengrass. Being the black sheep of their family, he would probably have related to that, and it would have given her finances as well. I think it would have been nicer. As it is now, the story simply revolves around Harry and Daphne too much to the point everyone else is sidelined.

And yes, the killing curse. Infamously known as one of the three unforgivable curses. Of course, probably more merciful than say, a myriad of much more painful ways for one to die, but casting the spell requires a certain mentality. A hatred, a desire to kill the person. I suppose Harry might have desired to end Sirius' suffering and that was by killing him, but it's an unforgivable for a reason. It also carries penalties that go far beyond expulsion for casting it. Perhaps Madam Pomfrey might have known a curse used by healers for euthanasia purposes, I guess we'll never know. The tone of the scene would have been rather... muted if Harry tearfully had to gain his composure, ask Pomfrey if she knew such a spell and took some time to practice on conjured animals before casting it on Sirius. And I suppose those in the room were willing to overlook it given the circumstances.

The issue of blood magic. Where do I even begin? Deriving magic from pain, and blood, well which is it? Sometimes it seems to be blood, taking blood as a sort of life force and source of magic, but sometimes it is pain and the infliction of which sometimes is accompanied by blood but not always given Daphne is rather fond of the Cruciatus, which doesn't leave a mark on its victims. Sometimes it's just Harry and Daphne cutting themselves for the fun of it and licking their blood off each other. It's just a bit gory and tasteless, kind of like they are cosplaying as vampires. Sort of reminds me of the certain infamous Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way, especially with Daphne's obsession with all things black, up to and including black nail polish. Nothing wrong with that, the goth aesthetic is cool, but see how Daphne being adopted by the Blacks would have been right up her alley?! Still, I digress. It's not just the blood, it's their habit of torturing and killing animals that bothers me. Especially that scene where the conjured snake spoke to Harry and asked them if they were monsters. Which they most definitely are. If they wanted larger animals, bit of a challenge, and no guilty conscience, they could have always gone after the acromantulas. Then again not that they have much of a conscience right now. I'm surprised they only encountered a couple considering how much they like to explore the forbidden forest. Whether it is blood or the feeling of pain is important since if it is Blood... well there's no need to inflict pain, just draw blood and keep blood replenishing potions handy. Rob a few blood banks if you want some spare batteries? If it's pain... well, is pain the only sensation that evokes magic? Would pleasure work just the same? One causes harm to the self and others, certainly best left to draw from your enemies, whereas the other seems a more fulfilling way to empower yourself.

What about pain tolerance? If this is really about pain, it seems like self inflicted pain at least, can only go so far. At some point, you'll grow accustomed to injuring yourself over and over, the pain will be muted. You'll need to gouge yourself deeper, like an addict dosing yourself higher and higher to get the same high as before as your brain gets accustomed to it. At some point this unhealthy practice will become life threatening, and by then they'll be so reliant on it that they can't give up that empowering feeling, that they will have to channel the pain of others without as great a pain tolerance.

Where does Daphne even come up with all this information? Why isn't Dumbledore doing anything about it? I've always ascribed to the notion any form of magic, light or dark can kill and that the distinction is largely semantics and government regulation, but when your magic is powered through inflicting pain... yeah I'd call that dark magic and stay the heck away from that. If you can't cast a spell without mutilating yourself, you're the one that's kind of pathetic. The others are getting by just fine without having to cut open their hand every time.

How did Daphne find out about Horcruxes? She wouldn't have access to her family library by then, Dumbledore says in canon that he took the books related to the Dark Arts from the restricted section after he became headmaster, and even before that, the one book Tom found in the restricted section, pertaining to the darkest of dark arts, mentions the word horcruxes, but that it was a practice so terrible even that book didn't dare give out information on how to make one or what it even is really. The book wouldn't even be there after Dumbledore became headmaster, but even if it had been, it wouldn't have provided Daphne the information she needed to connect the dots with what Dumbledore said. Again we come back to Daphne's mysterious ways to get knowledge from thin air.

Finally, the house of Slytherin. Why doesn't anybody in Slytherin take offense to Daphne openly antagonizing the whole house? She sits at the Gryffindor table every time, she openly wore Gryffindor colors in the quidditch game against Slytherin (mind you, it's not like Harry was playing in the game, she just seems to hate the house for some reason), and with the fierce bitter rivalry between the houses, I'm surprised it came with no reprisals. She goes around getting points for Gryffindor and deducting points from her own house, and there's certainly members of both houses that takes the cup very seriously, and in canon how others learn of the punishments and point deductions, it seems there is a way for students to see what the point deductions were for, or at least who the points were deducted because of, because of the many times Gryffindor was mad at the Golden Trio for losing points in adventures where there certainly were no other witnesses. How does she still sleep safe in her own dorm while making everyone in her whole house hate her? Sure, Voldemort being trapped in this scenario means the students aren't death eaters in the making, their families aren't going about donning masks (I suppose we'll see how the Quidditch World Cup goes), but even petty students can be dangerous when slighted... especially those that are both magical and children, thus vengeful and petty. She is widely considered a blood traitor, the protections of her being a pureblood is gone, there will be no reprisals for any attack because she's disowned by her house. I find it hard to believe, despite not wanting anything bad to happen to her, that she hasn't been targeted by an attack. As strong as she may be, I don't think she could take on her whole house. I don't even understand her hatred for her own house when she was only slighted by Malfoy and Parkinson, and she's generalizing, applying that disdain to the rest of her house, but she would be outraged if others treated her bad simply for being a Slytherin. Although I must say, it is a novel experience to see a Daphne that doesn't keep her affiliation with Harry secret due to possible ramifications from her housemates.

To summarize, the story has unique elements and is a breath of fresh air among the multitude of many extremely similar stories this website has to offer. It avoids many common tropes, such as the ice queen, overpowered harry/daphne, marriage contracts (almost!), evil dumbledore, and manages to present canon events in a new way, presenting it in a new light and having things unfold differently. The pacing of the romance was pretty good as well, and while it's a bit disturbing how much Harry and Daphne obsess over each other to a definitely unhealthy level, it is also a bit... cute? However, little things along the way that could have been done differently, altering their trajectory for the better than this tragedy of two kids falling into the darkness out of a misbegotten sense of vengeance aimed at the wrong parties, it's sad. I knew going in this wasn't exactly a fluff piece, even though Voldemort is essentially neutralized for now (which is awesome), but I have a feeling things are just going to get darker from here on out, and I really wish it didn't. At least the Sirius thing, I'd hope could be reconsidered so that Harry and Daphne have a little more than just each other, an authority figure they could actually trust and rely on. They are still children. And if they could use the blood magic without the element of pain, or using magic through other sensations that don't involve causing mental and physical harm to other innocent beings, which are sapient enough to communicate back to them might I mention, that would be nice too. I don't know, it's just... a bit disturbing. I like the plot, the characters, the romance, and yet I'm not sure whether the dark direction this is heading towards is my cup of tea. Then again, the signs were all there, I chose to wilfully ignore the sociopathic tendencies of these two in favor of enjoying the good parts, but there's only so much I can take honestly before I stop empathizing with Harry and Daphne entirely. Still, credit where credit's due, the story is good. The characters are fleshed out. Neither Harry nor Daphne is overpowered. For the most part, you've utilized existing plot elements and rearranged them without adding more, like using the same ingredients as the stock recipe but preparing them differently to make something completely new. It's good, I'm just not sure if all the blood was reaaally necessary?
11/19/2023 c24 RBDxCOM1053
update?
11/17/2023 c1 Guest
Great story. When will you next update?
11/8/2023 c24 Hxartlxss
Great story, thanks!~
11/5/2023 c24 coty.simianer2
good story a
11/4/2023 c24 Srychm
Why not make Ron and Hermione become dark too? I like the idea of that.

And Lockhart comment on prophet make me laugh so much.

I do think of how you will make the fourth year when Voldemort still trapped inside the mirror.

Thank you for the chapter.
11/4/2023 c23 Srychm
First think first, I like how you portray madam Bones character. She is not this person that in majority of fic have.

I like Dumbledore portrayal too. And I must say that is a bold move to kill Sirius. I do have hope he didn't die, because Sirius the only adult that Harry can have a full trust to.

I want to say that you are a good writer. I like reading this fic, I don't feel bored ever reading it. I do have a hard time to continue reading this fic in the first chapter, because Daphne is an animagus. I think that is too much for a first year as an animagus. But I tried to give it a chance and I am not disappointed.

Thank you for create and write this fic.
11/4/2023 c22 Srychm
Wow what a cliffhanger.
11/1/2023 c24 2Vernon Dursley
Poor Professor Sinistra, we never do get to hear her report on the students in Astronomy class lol.

Another great chapter though and I love the direction the story is going in, Harry’s character development is so interesting.

Keep up the amazing work
10/31/2023 c24 ReadingAddict335
It is a good after the previous awesome Ch this feels a bit of downgrade but nonetheless it is good.
Cheers!
10/31/2023 c24 Guest
"Not too fast, I can't keep up"

I like these small bits of comedic relief. They lighten the mood well enough, but they don't take away the grim atmosphere from the scene. Same with the part about Daphne's handwriting
10/30/2023 c23 Red's Melancholy
I don't understand this chapter at all. Every single interaction you've shown us with Harry and Daphne is that they ascribe 100% to might is right. In just about everything, and yet they don't even question why Dumbledore would just give up completely to Fudges whims. I don't want a Dumbledore bash fic, but cmon. This last arc has taken them so far out of character from what you've written, I don't even want to read anymore.
10/30/2023 c24 9CaskettFan5
In a way, Remus was quite right about Daphne. However, he underestimated how much Harry has become a willing participant. I wouldn't want either of them around me or other children. I have no doubt that Harry will become a villain.
10/30/2023 c24 ImHateful
Loved this chapter especially the ending! What to fucking go getting me hyped for their future, I loved the last part so fucking much, like you don't understand how much adoration I'm brimming with because of how well it turned out.

I genuinely can't wait for more, I'm all for them not returning to Hogwarts for the next year or the year after until they have established themselves as the next movers of the wizarding world.

Harry and Daphne are their generation of Merlin and Morgana in my opinion, I like how their characters sort of bare resemblance to them or well I feel like it does, it could just be me but I love the thought of it being the case somewhat.
10/30/2023 c24 4Infernalwolf1
Fuuuuuuckkkkkk yeeeeaaaaahhhhh... little sad but overall really great and indepth story and characterization love this keep it up
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