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Dumbledore's Army
Reviews for: Childhood's End
Review(s): 185

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Reviewid: 151220Chapter: 1
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Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-10-03
Reviewid: 145590Chapter: 26
Harrowing! I'm toppling over a cliff of anxiety to know whether Iffie will be all right.

And Minerva still hasn't guessed the truth about the "smallish animal".

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-09-15
Reviewid: 145351Chapter: 25
Chilling ... Iffie is no sooner well than she has to face up to the dark mystery. And of course I'm dying to know who ELSE was in the room when her father died.

Let's hope Minerva doesn't feel responsible for this one.

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-09-15
Reviewid: 145349Chapter: 24
Just when we thought the Macnairs couldn't become any worse ... so THAT'S how they dispose of their Dangerous Creatures. The descriptions of Durmstrang were chilling. Child abuse always upsets me, and especially when the perpetrator justifies it in the name of "authority". But ... "LOKHS" ... a "hole" ... or am I missing something?

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-09-09
Reviewid: 145261Chapter: 23
Minerva has such a delightful way of expressing herself: "I came in second." Her not knowing what a piano was really set her firmly in the magical world.

She has a few lessons to learn: treating harmless old Professor Tofty as of no account is "so small a sin"? No doubt her empathy will improve as she matures, and she won't find Poppy quite to silly to weep over the artificial birds.

But, in the end, the horror of the "portrait magic" drowns out all other impressions. You've reminded us yet again that the Magicosm, where otherwise ordinary people become far too powerful, can never be a safe world.

Reviewer: J ForiasDate: 2006-08-16
Reviewid: 144823Chapter: 1
I thought I'd best start with this story. It's wonderfully atmospheric. It must have taken you ages to research the language so perfect. I love the characters. Minerva has her outer exterior, which is rough and tough and matched to her surroundings, which nicely ties in to the the exterior she will adopt fifty odd years later at Hogwarts. Of course, we see signs of her compassion, particularly in the comforting of the younger children and in her passionate defence of her nannie.

She's a Gryffindor through and through.

Also liked Petey. He seems cool!

Reviewer: Reader 2Date: 2006-07-02
Reviewid: 143880Chapter: 37
I had some time yesterday and today to treat myself to a read.
Thank you for this most wonderful story.
This is the third piece of your work I have read.
All of this time was well spent.

Reviewer: AryaDate: 2006-06-30
Reviewid: 143839Chapter: 37
I finally got around to reading this chapter! I've been meaning to for a while, but life caught up with me. Anyway, it seemed like a bit of a sudden ending, but I did like it. I'd missed Gig and her mixed up words. I had forgotten about what the Healer had done to Minerva. I hope she finds some way to get around it, because it seems so sad that someone so young has no parents. Just reading about her talking to her mother who didn't know she was her mother was heartbreaking.

Thanks for the wonderful read, as always!

Reviewer: ReesieDate: 2006-06-25
Reviewid: 143685Chapter: 37
Mary Ellis! Chapter 37 is just wonderful. Of course your magic theory is brilliant, but I am even more impressed by the relationships you build. Minerva's feelings about her mother, and her relationship with Donnie and Giggie, are so well described.

I loved the kneazle/part-kneazle kittens - what darlings - and the blue mischievous eyes...I wonder who? :)

I'll look forward to your next story.

Reviewer: Madaline FabrayDate: 2006-06-13
Reviewid: 143393Chapter: 28
I LOVE your Dumbledore! Oh my gosh, the bet... and the chicken suit... I think I hurt myself laughing at THAT mental image. So some of the pieces are beginning to come together. I wonder if old Grindewald had any link with McGonagall's mother...

Reviewer: NunduDate: 2006-06-10
Reviewid: 143348Chapter: 37
This story has been wonderful! I look forward to the next book from you!

Reviewer: TarsieSDate: 2006-06-09
Reviewid: 143326Chapter: 37
I have really enjoyed this story - found it a few weeks ago and was quite impressed with the style and maturity of writing.

Looking forward to the next book!

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-06-09
Reviewid: 143323Chapter: 37
Oh, how sad - First your announcement of it being the last chapter so far, second Minerva's decision to never come back. Why doesn't healer Kirke want her to tell the truth to her mother? And with that she also prevents Iffie's complete recovery ...
Still Minerva is very young but she had to grow up a lot over the past months - I'd love to see her during her school days and watch her development into the professor we know from the books. And it's great that you introduce all the other characters from the books to give them some background story. Like Slughorn inviting her to tea - it's just right.
I hope you will continue soon with the second part, I'll miss your weekly updates. Thanks a lot for your eloquent story which made me love Minerva, her family and her schoolmates all the better! And of course made me laugh. And hope.
Well, it was no fully happy ending for Minerva - without her parents now - nevertheless many problems got solved. And finally what I particularly liked was the way how you laid the life-long base of friendship, trust and understanding between Minerva and Albus Dumbledore (by the way, nice idea, the white kneazle with mischievous blue eyes!), again thank you for that.
So, mary ellis, I keep my fingers crossed to make you go on writing! All the best, Sara

Reviewer: PygmyPuffDate: 2006-06-09
Reviewid: 143321Chapter: 37
A good ending--if a bit heartbreaking. Minerva seems to have unusually good instincts for people, I must say. The twist with the Geas is intriguing, although I suspect Healer Kirk is more misguided than downright evil? My heart does go out to Minerva. I look forward to the next book! This has been such a joy to read, thank you for sharing it with all of us. :)

Reviewer: ArimalkaDate: 2006-06-09
Reviewid: 143320Chapter: 37
Ooh, what I wouldn't give to hex that Healer silly! Poor Minerva...I do hope she comes home eventually. And it's over! *sobs* Well, not really, I guess. lol. I've enjoyed reading this story and seeing it develop since the very beginning. I've laughed and gasped and cried in all the right places. =) You can be sure that when the first chapter of 'Three Orphans' comes out, I'll be the first to review!

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-06-09
Reviewid: 143318Chapter: 37
This has been a wonderful story, and I look forward to the next segment in the saga. I like how you end with the realization that although Minerva is without a lot of family, she has her studies and friends to help her. I smiled at the reference to Slughorn, and I wonder who else would be in the Slug Club with Minerva. Keep writing.

Reviewer: elspethdavisDate: 2006-05-28
Reviewid: 143090Chapter: 36
Wow! This has been a really enjoyable fic. The family structure is complex and believable. I love Aunt Donnie, Gig and Dugald. Minerva is well written and the character hasn't fallen in to any of the traditional Mary Sue traps. You've also done a great job of laying out the hints throughout the story.

Thanks for sharing this!

Reviewer: AryaDate: 2006-05-27
Reviewid: 143061Chapter: 36
Wow, I love the way you've connected Grindlewald to Minerva and her family, as well as how you've connected to the muggle world and the then-current situation with Hitler. I keep forgetting when this is set. I love how this fic is progressing and can't wait to see more!

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-05-22
Reviewid: 142978Chapter: 36
Woah, extremely chilling, especially the last line. It shows Grindelwald's cunning and resourcefulness, not to mention his ruthlessness, that he went to such an extent to hide himself. I like how Dumbledore treats Minerva as an equal here, and patiently answers each of her good questions. I had to laugh about "A Dark wizard always has to have some miserable beast to kick around when things aren't going well," even though it was also disturbing. Keep writing, and I look forward to Dumbledore's defeat of Grindelwald.

Reviewer: PygmyPuffDate: 2006-05-22
Reviewid: 142963Chapter: 36
Fabulous, excellent, wonderful chapter! You pulled everything together so, so perfectly and managed to get in a lot of exposition without it weighing the pace down. Bravo! :)

Reviewer: Ardie BeaDate: 2006-05-22
Reviewid: 142951Chapter: 36
At last all the pieces are coming together. I'm almost disappointed as it means that this fic, at least, may be drawing to a close, and I've really enjoyed the young McGonagal. That duel was wonderfully realised and the description of the transformation of Grindelwald quite eerie. Well done.

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-05-22
Reviewid: 142948Chapter: 36
Amazing as ever - thank you!
Looking forward to the next chapter,

Reviewer: dogstarDate: 2006-05-18
Reviewid: 142881Chapter: 2
An enjoyable chapter. Jupiter flinging around the room in a towering rage made me laugh. The line about Minerva fearing that crying would lead to something worse was very moving. I'm very impressed by your use of Scottish dialect words and the regional and period details. Some of them were strange to me - and I'm half-Scottish! My mum used to play the prediction game with us - but with apples rather than potatoes. She also used to bake and cook traditional Scottish fare. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Reviewer: dogstarDate: 2006-05-12
Reviewid: 142757Chapter: 1
Well, it's about time I started reading this, after all your kind reviews! I really enjoyed this opening chapter - Minerva is an engaging little scrap and I can already see the strength of will and fierceness of the Professor MsGonagall we know from the books.

I also really enjoyed the scene setting of the glen and the forest, exactly the Scotland I know and love. The dialect was excellent too - authentic without being overdone.

I'm looking forward to reading more - and there's plenty in store for me!

Reviewer: PygmyPuffDate: 2006-05-10
Reviewid: 142715Chapter: 35
Great two chapters--I love how carefully and logically you plotted it out and developed all these characters. I love Minerva's bravery and I'm so glad that Cuthbert didn't get the farm. Very exciting wizard battle, too! Post again soon!

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-05-10
Reviewid: 142714Chapter: 35
Uff - what a relieve!
I`m glad that Minerva could help her aunt win this thrilling duel. However, it`s hard to accept that her father had to die because of her cousin`s lazy spellwork - on the other hand, thanks for that, it made Donnie`s healing much easier :-)
Well, now Minerva can again concentrate on her mother`s mysterious past - as always I`ll follow her with bated breath.
Yours, Sara

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-05-10
Reviewid: 142704Chapter: 35
Yes, I imagine that aerobatics on broomsticks would leave one queasy, and that was a great section to read, being very exciting. I loved the paragraph about Minerva being unable to accept that her father's death was a result of laziness and ineptitude, because she wants to excell in everything, and no one wants to hear that others die because of negligence. I hope her aunt Donnie will do well with the keep.

Reviewer: mary ellisDate: 2006-05-07
Reviewid: 142642Chapter: 34
I can't say enough how your insights inspire me. Hope some of the Lurkers out there (if there be any), who may be daunted by the cogent contributions of you faithful veterans of the quill (well, keyboard) --Reesie, Anya, Arya, Sara, AmandaB, Arimalka,Zallah, Grace has Victory, and hermia among others--will come forward and join us. Every little contribution helps me--both psychologically and artistically.

REESIE, I love twitting the Macnairs. They're such a narsty bunch. You do like descriptions, don't you? It shows in your own writing I think.
ZALLAH, you are such a sweetie to have actually looked that up. (I won't give the answer away for the rest of you, but 'Roydore Coeur-Serrure' is a translation into dubious French of the name of another JKR character.) I enjoy putting a level of puzzling into my stories for those who like puzzles and word-play.
Yeah, DIANA (GRACE), my beta wanted me to make Chap 22 a Drabble. I thought you'd like the remark about Binns and plagiarism. That kind of student report was actually encouraged when I was a kid.
Thanks, SARA. I guess you've figured out by now that if a chapter starts with such an innocuous statement from Minerva, all Hades will be shortly breaking loose. Chapter 34 practically wrote itself with all those strong characters sitting in the same room, just bursting to tell their stories. Especially, as you say, the ghostly pipers. I almost feel I just sort of listened in and took notes. ...and what is Cuthbert up to? Mwa-ha-ha!
Hee, hee, AMANDA-B, I'm glad you liked the dragon duel. There can never be too many dragons in a story about magic, I think. And I love--love--LOVE Scots traditions. Minerva's taking it in the gut, as usual. I guess it's hard to believe she actually survives to see seventy.
ARYA--You remember Amelia Bedelia? She was one of my kids' (and my) faves. A and B are related, though I never quite worked out the tree for the Bones family. It's got a smart branch and 'practical' branch, that's all I know. And you put it very well. Minerva really doesn't get to have much of a childhood. I hope it explains some things about her later character.
HERMIA, so glad you like Donnie. It's only in these later chapters that her character has come clear to me. And we're not done with her yet. Cuthbert's a bit tougher. He doesn't give up his secrets easily.
ANYA, oh, please say there'll be another chapter of your fic 'SotD' soon. I want to have my 'wonderful way to pass the afternoon' too! *pouts, then brightens* Oops, I found it--and read it. Now am inspired. Hooray for cats' tails! They seem magical in themselves and they communicate with style! And it must be Aberforth springing for drinks--well, you know *your* Aberforth would...and whatever makes you think I'll be using those new spells in a future chapter? ; ) And I like to remind people that D (b. 1840) is more than twice as old as M during the HP era. So he's already in his nineties during Minerva's schoolgirl days.
ARIMALKA--I thought about your objection to the bagpipes and have come up with the *perfect* solution--I think. The bagpipes are ghostly too, see? Like the ghosts' clothing, they are virtually a part of them. (But then I have the old geezer laying them down in the next chap. *smacks head* Oh well!)

Reviewer: ReesieDate: 2006-05-05
Reviewid: 142550Chapter: 34
I know, it's hard to believe <twinkle> but I think this chpt is even better than usual! Really loved your characters and descriptions, felt as if I was there with them. This description was beautifully done, I thought:
"its blues the dark underside of storm clouds, its greens not of sun-streaked forests, but of the shadows within them, with thick bands of black and a redder red stripe crisscrossing the crimson background, like a wound reopened and beaded with fresh blood. "

I also loved when Lord MacNair got impatient with all of the support for the brooms in the duel: "All right!" Lord Macnair was now almost shouting."

You are horrible to stop when you did though! Great job.

Reviewer: ZallahDate: 2006-05-04
Reviewid: 142529Chapter: 34
M. Couer-Serrur - haha! Had to look up 'serrure,' but that is excellent! Though really, between him and Master Colqu'hon (who makes me squirm in rememberance of Kimber), I would be truly worried for the McGonagall estate if he does end up with the stewardship. The history of dueling weapons was great, and I look forward to reading the events of this duel.

I'll probably get around to the Ramage books once I finish the Aubrey-Maturin series (I'm about a third of the way through at present).

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-05-04
Reviewid: 142519Chapter: 22
"Highland Fling" - awww, the stuff of which the Fluff thread is made! So sad to think what became of the young couple. I hope Minerva's reconstruction was at least partly correct.

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-05-04
Reviewid: 142518Chapter: 21
Some great educational theories here. Yes, it’s difficult to imagine Minerva showing too much levity, and it’s so like Binns to reward copying but punish thinking. I can think of some good uses for a Transparencia Charm, and I’m surprised Goodie can’t. But when is a good time to teach people to use poisons??

We’re coming uncomfortably close to the dark secret in Iphigenia’s past. I hope she does find out what really happened, no matter how terrible that turns out to be.

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-05-03
Reviewid: 142506Chapter: 34
... sorry, I forgot to mention how much I like this chapter for its dialogues, jokes and funny anecdotes told by the ghost - everything is so credibly interwoven, it's so awesome!

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-05-03
Reviewid: 142505Chapter: 34
This was really a great chapter - well written and full of suspense!
And especially I enjoyed the beginning: "She would be back in school soon, and there she would make her home, as much of a home as she could." - That's so great, mary ellis! I love the way you insert those plausible details that are so very characteristic for the "later" Minerva.
Please update soon, I want to see Cuthbert's mascerade fall :-)

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-05-03
Reviewid: 142502Chapter: 34
I laughed about the part with the dragons, and I loved that McGonagall got the final word. I think she'll do just fine on a broomstick. I look forward to how the duel goes, and I like your reference to the long history of wizard duels to solve almost any problem. The bagpipes were also a nice touch, envoking the tradition of the various clans you describe. Keep writing.

Reviewer: AryaDate: 2006-05-03
Reviewid: 142497Chapter: 34
Is Madam Bones Amelia Bones's mother? If so, I find it increadibly amusing that her name is Amelia Bedlia. :p

This looks like it'll be an interesting battle! Can't wait for the next chapter!

Reviewer: hermiaDate: 2006-05-03
Reviewid: 142490Chapter: 34
eeee, great chapter! Hurray, I hate Cuthbert. Go Donnie! Go Minerva!

Reviewer: AryaDate: 2006-04-30
Reviewid: 142421Chapter: 33
It's so sad the way Minerva has started calling her mother The Stranger. I hope things work out, because this is almost too much for me to bear! Poor Minerva isn't having much of a childhood, is she? She's growing up rather fast for an 11 year old.

Reviewer: saraDate: 2006-04-28
Reviewid: 142345Chapter: 33
Interesting - I wouldn't have regarded Cuthbert as a braggart - so what is he really doing in the mine? But still he has his mother's support ... hmmm.
It's so sad that Minerva calls her mother The Stranger , I'm so sorry for her - as always I hope her & her mother's suffering will be over soon. What a pity with that delay in the end :-)
Yours, Sara

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-04-26
Reviewid: 142269Chapter: 30
WHOA! Petey DID bust out! So 'taken', thought Minerva that Suze had gone through a drawerful of handkerchiefs already, had interrupted three classes with her tearful outbursts, and now could be heard wailing away upstairs in the dormitory through two feet of granite. <-I love Minervas tart humor here!

:D OH MY GOSH! The Dreadnought! Three seater brooms! Holy cow, I cannot belive Magnus went and turned on those brave girls over a slot on a racing team! It'll be interesting to see how Minervas dream will play into the future!

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-04-26
Reviewid: 142268Chapter: 29
Here was one teacher who understood exactly how she felt about learning and had an interest in helping her solve the mystery of her grandfather's death. <- You manage to start every chapter with something so wonderful that just makes me sigh with delight! I ADORE Minerva! I can't say it enough!

Stay out of my business, the tail seemed to say. Your paltry magic is no match for my speed and cunning. <-AH! This sounds exactly like my cat! Speed and cunning, beautiful!

Wonderful new spells and magic in this chapter as well (I can't wait to see how they'll help in the upcoming chapters!) Naughty Minerva! Magical grafiti under the bed (I wonder if Hermione will ever discover it, for some reason that was the first thing that occured to me, that Hermione must have had the same bunk as Minerva!) Oh! Poor Petey trapped in that horrible school (every letter seems a little bleaker) And we got to read letters from home and see the prep for the broom races *siiiigh* I love it (Incidentaly I hope Minerva gets it!)

One of the adults, the red-nosed proprietor of the Hogsmeade pub, offered to spring for drinks for the celebration, and hoped that he'd be allowed to display the trophy behind the bar during holidays. <-EEEE! Is this Aberforth?! I hope so!

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-04-26
Reviewid: 142266Chapter: 28
Erk! I've been so behind in my Fic reading! But happily Childhoods End is a wonderful way to pass the afternoon!

OHHH! At last! Dumbledore! And you write him beautifuly, I often forget that he really *is* that old, but I absolutley loved his handling of the cactus trick! It's so perfectly Dumbledore, good natured and yet, NOT the person you'd ever want to cross.

I loved the ideas about wizarding warfare then (compared to what we see from the Death Eaters) and the brilliant blending and weaving of Muggle History and magical history (if only it really were that interesting, I might not have fallen asleep so often in class!) And Minerva is as always wonderfuly clever, curious, and sharp (And Albus wrote Adventures in Transfiguration! Whoda thunk!)

"Just as with this little incident concerning your grandfather. It is but one more piece of the puzzle. And I believe it is not potent spells or potions or even leagues of powerful wizards banded together which will finally erase Grindelwald from our world, but knowledge of his weaknesses." But this quote is a perfect way to wrap up the chapter and foreshadow what's to come! Yum!

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-04-25
Reviewid: 142245Chapter: 33
I certainly hope Cuthbert doesn't get the farm, as I don't think he'd be a good landlord. The section with the moss was funny, but also chilling, as you worked in a reference to Hitler and what is to come (namely Grindewald). Minerva's distress at the fact that her mother can't even remember her origins is well written, and you are able to sense how much the responsibility of taking care of the McGonagall name is now on her shoulders. This chapter was great as usual, and please continue.

Reviewer: ArimalkaDate: 2006-04-25
Reviewid: 142244Chapter: 33
"But he's been experimenting with all sorts of spells to protect the mine."

I smell something fishy going on with Cuthbert...but of course, it's probably a dead end and I'm totally missing the point. Anyway, awesome chapter as usual. Poor Minerva, she really has so much on her plate..."the Stranger" horrible. I just have one nitpicky thing to add - can ghosts even hold bagpipes (unless they died holding them or something)? I thought ghosts went through everything solid.

Can't wait for the next chapter!

Reviewer: ReesieDate: 2006-04-25
Reviewid: 142230Chapter: 33
Wonderful chapter. I am amazed at your imagination, and your ability to bring the reader into the scene. I could really identify with Minerva's doubt and fear about standing up to Charlamaine, etc. (the adults...), and then there was wonderful Dumbledore to talk with! Wonderful Dumbledore with his emphasis on the "truth". Yes, I am a DD addict!! I loved the bits of stone chipping off the coffin to reveal scenes of Jupiter's life in relief. I liked Cuthbert's description as a dabbler - reminded me of Lockhart!

You are also so kind to write to your reviewers. I think it is hard to reach that perfect understanding between author and reader, without being too heavyhanded on one hand while still giving enough information! It makes perfect sense for DD (in your chapter 32) to have said he was weary from his orphanage visit because he was too much of a gentleman to focus on his sadness instead of support for Minerva. Bravo!

Reviewer: mary ellisDate: 2006-04-23
Reviewid: 142171Chapter: 1
HI ARYA, Minerva will definitely be back in school for the rest of her magical training. That school loyalty and love (which Tom Riddle possessed too, though in a perverted form) must build up in her so that she can become the steadfast teacher and friend she is in JKR's tales.
As to your question about TR's and Minerva's relative ages, the HP Lexicon (my other bible) puts them within a year or two of each other in date-of-birth. I know it's confusing because Voldemort seems so much younger than Minerva--especially in the movies. Minerva, though seventy, should only look about forty/fifty since Magicals age at half the rate of Mundanes after they reach wizarding maturity. But of course, Maggie Smith is considerably older...
AWWW, PYG...I was sad too when I wrote that chapter. I do love this young witch.
SARA, MY DEAR, You've suffered along with our good witchling all this time. I hope you'll find satisfaction with the resolution. Only a few more chapters to go!
And I'm sorry 32 was too short for you. This is chapter where I kept adding and subtracting things. The references to Tom Riddle were a last minute add-in when I re-read HBP and realized D's visit to the orphanage could dovetail with Da's wake.
I'm glad you think Minerva is no Mary Sue. I am always afraid when I put her into these fantastic situations that I'm creating a Superheroine, and I'm well aware that I write her behavior, expression, and reasoning much older than a normal pre-teen.
AMANDA B, Thanks for sticking with our heroine. Minerva does have to grow up very fast. I think it shapes her character mightily. And I love putting in small character touches. It keeps stories interesting.
As for your question: will Tom R. and Minerva cross paths?--let me just say that the title of the next book is 'Three Orphans'. I count Minerva as one, even though her mother is not really dead. Can you guess who the other two might be???
OH, ARIMALKA, you are such a faithful reader. Thanks for your support and lucid comments. I wrestled with the body-transformation scene a long time. Didn't want it too gruesome, but needed it to be possible.
I'd be happy to send you a check for those hankies. But If you want me to pay for a tear-duct-ectomy, my insurance just won't cover that. ;)
ZALLAH, thanks so much for your insights. This was a hard chapter to write. I think I moved things around and added and subtracted characters in this part more than any other. It's good to know the effort made a difference.
And I'm so glad you're reading the Aubrey-Maturin novels. I just realized that a good bit of Da's character--his inventiveness and prodigious strength and love of life--come out of my reading of Jack Aubrey's character. I've read the stories several times, so it's no wonder that Jack has stayed with me. (BTW, have you read the 'Ramage' novels? They were a favorite of my husband's--who is also a history buff.)
MADALINE, I do love Wallace and Gromit and Alice. And I caught the explanation-of-how Transfiguration-works bug from one of my fave writers and friend, Grace has Victory. (And I really am going to try to get back to reading your own wonderfully limned tales about another strong, talented teacher, Aurellia Deveroux, on WizardTales.)
GOSH, REESIE, I would love to put your Eileen Prince into the next book. But first I've got to catch up on your inventive and revealing 'Dumbledore's Legacy to the Half-blood Prince'. I loved your cogent rebuttal to a reader's objections to your TR time-line and respect the way you've researched the backgound for your story. And because of the care you take with your own writing and the respect we share for canon, your is criticism very important to me.
When I read 'The Secret Riddle' in HBP, I came away struck by D's line: '[TR's] ability to speak to serpents did not make me nearly as uneasy as his obvious instincts for cruelty, secrecy, and domination.' That sentence chilled me to the core (along with Harry's mental commentary on the scene itself) and prompted the rather heavy-handed weariness I placed on D. in the scene with Minerva.
As for D. calling Tom a Muggle-born, I'm thinking of it through his eyes at the time. It's my opinion that the Magicosm would never allow a known son of mages to be placed in a Muggle orphanage, so I'm thinking D. might have simply made the assumption that Tom was at least part-Muggle at the time, though he wouldn't have told Tom that. And D's weariness is actually a compound of sadness at the death of Minervas's father--also a beloved Quidditch player, his long trip, and the encounter with Tom. He would, however, as a gentlewizard, downplay the first two reasons, being senstive to any feelings of guilt M. might have about his sacrifice.
DRAGONLADY: Oh yum! A new voice, and welcome. Yes, I too can never get enough of the Albus/Minerva relationship. It is, after all, the first one between magical beings that we encounter in JKR's work. There is much more of that relatioship to come from my pen--another book's worth, I hope.

Reviewer: ArimalkaDate: 2006-04-20
Reviewid: 142111Chapter: 32
This chapter had my crying...again! Mary_ellis, I am soon going to send you a bill for all of the Kleenex boxes I have used up while reading this story. =P I kid, I kid. Beautifully written chapter - I especially loved Minerva reconstructing her father's body. So sad, and yet so in-character for her.

Reviewer: AryaDate: 2006-04-19
Reviewid: 142084Chapter: 32
As sad as the last chapter was, this one was even harder to read. It's amazing how strong Minerva is being through this whole ordeal, and this seems to explain why she is the way she is as a teacher. I do hope that she'll have a more normal year after this one...she's been in and out of Hogwarts so often I'm surprised she's learned anything!

I love the way Dumbledore comes to her father's funeral. You've written him perfectly, having him comforting Minerva and talking to her not like a child but like an equal.

It's interesting, bringin Tom into this story. It'll be interesting to see Minerva's reaction to him, but I do think Minerva was older than him. Isn't she in her 70s, and Voldemort's in his 50s? But that's such a little thing.

Thanks for such a beautiful (though tearful) chapter!

Reviewer: DragonladyDate: 2006-04-19
Reviewid: 142083Chapter: 32
*comes out of lurkdom* Hello...I've been reading this and enjoying it immensely, but I just had to review and say that I absolutely love this latest chapter. The Albus/Minerva dynamic is one that I love to read and love to play with given the facets of their relationship that we get glimpses of in the books, and I think you've handled them beautifully.

Reviewer: ReesieDate: 2006-04-19
Reviewid: 142081Chapter: 32
Hi Mary Ellis, great chapter as usual. Thanks for more DD, and I love that you are bringing in another canon character - Tom Riddle. I wonder if you will also introduce Eileen - assuming she was at school with Tom.

In your A/N you mentioned possible canon interference - do you mean with the date of Tom's interview? We know (Lexicon) he was born in 12-31-26, so the year would be about 1938, but I don't see a conflict with the timing of your story?

What I do have a question about is DD's weariness/labored breathing, and Tom's muggleborn reference. I can understand DD being tired from a Grindelwald interaction, but not from the interview with Tom. DD is a relatively young wizard and while "wary" of Tom, I didn't think he was "weary".

"The Headmaster asked me to meet with a new student--a boy, Muggle-born, and unacquainted with our ways. A bit of shepherding you know. It's a duty he spreads about the staff, and not an onerous one--usually." He stared off into space, looking wearier than ever"

Tom Riddle asked DD if his father was magic, and DD said he didn't know. Yet DD tells Minerva that Tom is Muggle-born, not just that he "might be".

Sorry for all the questions, just nit-picking. Great writing.

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-04-19
Reviewid: 142078Chapter: 32
I loved Minerva's transformation of her father's body, which went a long way in conveying the depth of emotion she felt about his death. Showing up at a student's funeral for a relative sounds like something Dumbledore would have done, and I like the fact that you introduce his visit to Tom. Will Tom and Minerva meet? That would be interesting, especially considering that very few people are aware of his eventual transformation into Voldemort.
Please update soon!

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-04-19
Reviewid: 142077Chapter: 32
Well this chapter for sure is way too short - have you forgot to add the second half?
Please continue soon since I'm very curious about the truth behind Iffie's suffering!
Seeing Dumbledore like this is unusual - being so open towards a teenager about his emotions and, well, exhaustion. But you draw a poignant picture of Minerva and Dumbledore - it really fits with their trust and loyality and understanding towards each other. And congratulate you to the way you describe Minerva: She's not the self-confident flawless main character without any mistakes and doubts of many a fanfic-kind. I prefer your girl that has to cope with so many difficulties ... because I know she'll grow and develop into the integer professor we know ... and I am happy that there are many decades in between so you can go on telling her life :-)

Reviewer: Madaline FabrayDate: 2006-04-16
Reviewid: 141954Chapter: 14
Wow, you put a lot of thought into the Transfigurations --very nice! Loved the little nods to Alice in Wonderland and Wallace and Gromit, heh heh.

Reviewer: ZallahDate: 2006-04-11
Reviewid: 141845Chapter: 31
It feels rather awkward to explain this, but I really appreciate the way you wrote about Jupiter' death. I particularly thank you for the poignancy and variety of ways in which the other characters dealt with his death. The voice you put into your writing appealed to some of my own memories so clearly that I was well able to identify with their loss. In retrospect, I also must commend how you wrote Jupiter during his life: he was such a full character that his loss leaves a hole not easily filled. Thank you: this has been one of few realistic deaths I have ever read.

On an entirely different subject: I am working my way through the Aubrey-Maturin series. I started on it after I finished all the Hornblower novels, to which I consider myself a great devotee.

Reviewer: ArimalkaDate: 2006-04-11
Reviewid: 141843Chapter: 31
This was so sad. I was actually crying. I haven't been keeping up with my reviews of this story lately, but I guess there's no time like the present. This chapter is really one of the best so far. I noticed that it wasn't Da dying that made this a very good chapter. I mean, it was a very sad thing to happen, but what really made this my favorite chapter were Minerva's reactions. The readers were seeing this chapter through Minerva's eyes and feeling her pain and responsibility. Amazing stuff.

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-04-11
Reviewid: 141819Chapter: 31
This is a very poignant chapter, intersperced with moments of character, like Macnair threatening with dragons, Dumbledore's bonus question and Chocolate Frog, and the pain of Minerva's mother not recognizing her. I could definately see Minerva blaming herself for what happened to her parents, and I loved:
I don't care enough. Not with Ma. I can't look at her.
which just shows Minerva's determination, but also reminds you of how young she is to take on such a huge responsibility. Which leads you to why she has to in the first place, underscoring the grief that you feel though her.

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-04-10
Reviewid: 141812Chapter: 31
Oh no, what a sudden and sad change in Minerva's life - it's not fair ... and just imagine her aunt and cousin behind that cruel scheme - will our heroine solve all these disturbing problems?
Well, I hope you'll update soon!

Reviewer: PygmyPuffDate: 2006-04-10
Reviewid: 141808Chapter: 31
Oh no...oh no...not Da.

I'm so sad. I suppose that's a tribute to the strength of the story...but right now I'm just sad with Minerva. :(

Reviewer: AryaDate: 2006-04-10
Reviewid: 141806Chapter: 31
Wow. An amazing chapter. I still can't believe her dad died...poor Minerva, nothing seems to go right, does it? I don't think the death was an accident, either. I do hope she goes back to school for her second year, though. Keep going, this is one of my favorite fics!

Reviewer: mary ellisDate: 2006-04-08
Reviewid: 141773Chapter: 30
Hi All:
Thought I'd update while I wait for my beta Ewan to digest the next chapter. Believe me, after reading some of the trash that passes for fan-fic out there, I'm eternally grateful to SQ for holding to its standards and to Ewan Munro for being such a thorough critic. (The man knows just about everything there is to know about Britain and zoology and Canon and history, not to mention grammar, spelling, meanings, etc.) Bless you, my excellent beta!)

Arya: I do love Dumbledore and Minerva's relationship. And of course, it will grow. Stay tuned.
Thorn: Getting the **spelling** right for accents is the tricky thing. You want everyone of whatever background to get what you meant it to sound like. And thanks. I love to excerpt books, especially Albus's writings. He's really a dear...and so smart!
AmandaB: Yes, Petey's intelligent, but mostly he's a daredevil. As a youngest child, he assumes he will be allowed to get away with a lot, and so, of course, he does. And you're so right. Dugald is a dark horse, and he will not just go away.
Reesie, Sara (and all Dumbledore addicts): I dedicate chapters 32, 33, and 36 to you in advance.
Sara: thank you , thank you, thank you!
PygmyPuff: Yes, Minerva will survive this trilogy, though sometimes I wonder how.

Reviewer: PygmyPuffDate: 2006-04-06
Reviewid: 141697Chapter: 30
Great chapter--such a twist with the girls' plan being used to track Petey. How brave and gutsy they are! I'm still really concerned for Petey--I hope the Macnairs don't send Petey back to Durmstrang!--and for Minerva. Ach, the politics swirling around the wee bairn! (I'm not that was probably dreadful...but anyhow.) I'm getting so caught up with your depiction of Minerva and my concern for her that I had to remind myself very seriously that I know she does live b/c she's in the Harry Potter books. Also her friends are just wonderful. I love how you're fleshing the characters out! Post again soon!

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-04-05
Reviewid: 141681Chapter: 30
Oh it's been a while since I've given you my last feedback - please think of many excited and grateful and overwhelming positive reviews in between! So many things happen to Minerva (I don't want to think of the dreadful stuff Cuthbert is planning ...) and we get closer stepwise ... wow ... and all those great characters fitting so well in the universe - and thank you that Dumbledore has finally arrived on the scene!
All the best,

Reviewer: ReesieDate: 2006-04-04
Reviewid: 141616Chapter: 30
Very nice, but we need more Dumbledore - please?

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-04-04
Reviewid: 141615Chapter: 30
Interesting. Petey must be quite intelligent to have escaped Durstrang, even if it was only temporary. A three seater broom would be interesting. Maybe the trio can order one for their Horacrux hunt! I love how you talk about Macnair, and you foreshadow the further development of the Multi-Oculars. It will be interesting to see how Dugald continues to be in the story.

Reviewer: Thorn of BloodDate: 2006-04-02
Reviewid: 141556Chapter: 29
Well as you have given me two lovely reviews for my stories I feel obliged to add my apreciation of your amazing story to the ample suppy you have already.

Firstly I want to comend you on your' rare ability to make accents come alive on paper, a talent shared by very few, I ceratinly can't do it, but then Sirius doesn't have an accent that shows up on paper, thank goodness.

I also wish to applaud you chracterisation skills, it is a wonder to watch young Minervra's progress through life, as we can clearly see the aspects of her personality that are prominent in our own Professor.

Also I like the way that you incorperated the "Mysterious Transformation" that chased her many chapters ago now, I am pretty sure what that is, although I am not sure that it would work that way. (Of course I could be barking up the wrong tree...)

There are too many great scenes to name, although I especially enjoyed the last chapter, I thought the meeting was excelently handled and very true to life. Another aspect that tickled my fancy was the "Travels in Transfiguration" book, that pre-empts her conection to Albus.

All in all a cracking good read, keep up the good work.

Reviewer: AryaDate: 2006-03-28
Reviewid: 141406Chapter: 28
I love this introduction to Dumbledore! I like the idea of them being close since Minerva's years at Hogwarts. I also love the connections between Iffie's muggle parents and the wizarding world...this is a wonderful story, and I can't wait for more!

Reviewer: mary ellisDate: 2006-03-27
Reviewid: 141357Chapter: 29
Anya: Why am I not surprised that you've visited a 'snake church'? Great parallel you draw between Dorian Gray and the Framing concept--spooky, no? And Minerva taking on an army of Aurors to defend Hagrid is the
image that got me writing this fic in the first place. No doddering milquetoast she! I dedicate those LOKHS to you and also a little thing called MOSS, which is yet to come. And how prescient of you: Augusta L. will show up in the next book--along with an explanation of why she failed her Charms OWL.

AmandaB: I love playing with the Magical/Muggle interface: mixed marriages, near Squibs, etc. You're right, true Squibs don't have wands, but I like the thought that there may be 'marginal mages' (like Neville maybe?) And we'll be seeing yet another Bones before this book is over.

Amanda, Corvidae, and Reesie: Gotta love Dumbledore! You'll see much more of him with Minerva toward the end of the book. And I certainly wouldn't at all mind following D and M throughout their time at Hogwarts, if I can just get theourgh this darned trilogy first!

Pygmy Puff: Cuthbert is a baddie, but his worst is yet to come. Mwa-ha-ha! And you're right about the Avada Kadavra spell. Although Petey is actually *second* year (not sure if I made that clear to y'all), it's still too young to be doing the AK. I just wanted to give him a really potent reason for his next move.

Sara: I'm glad you liked my explanation of Rowdie's little secret. I'm never sure if my fantasies are getting too far-fetched (even for the Potterverse). That was a long chapter wasn't it?

Fab4Mum: Welcome aboard and thanks. I loved your own story, as you know.

Grace: Where, indeed, is Horace Slughorn? Patience, my dear, all in good time. Floo inventor mistake? Not my fault. Hildy Bagshot did her own research on that one. A light-haired Philistine, eh? Sounds like he's related to old Gilderoy. Magnus is a take on one of my former students. I liked him, and his friends had a very tender affection for him. Oops, Apollyon Pringle will not like being left out. I shall have to make it up to him. Tofty just had to find his 'level of incompetence' (to quote some sociologist or other). I'm not saying he wasn't ever a good teacher, just not in his final days at the big H. Grr--the gauntlet is down. I'm just going to have to write the story of Binns' death, aren't I? I agree with you about the impossibility of manufacturing 'life' with Transfiguration. I'll have to get Dumbledore to write about it sometime. and yes, conservation of matter is important (I thought I made that clear with D's mountain-molehill reference.)

Hermia: I'm glad you are getting it. I'm never sure if my clues are too obscure.

Corvidae: Thank you, thank you thank you, but I hope you didn't get in trouble over your 'obligations'.

Rowan Rose: I have to thank for the dialect. They have a bitchin' English-Scots translator.

Arimalka: Thanks, as usual. Enjoy!

Zallah: Ooh, a fan of the early 19th cent. Have you by any chance read the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey-Maturin novels? Stellar!!
Hope I got everyone. Love to all. Hope to read more of your own stories soon!

Reviewer: PygmyPuffDate: 2006-03-25
Reviewid: 141284Chapter: 29
Ooh. Good chapter. I'm worried about Petey Macnair, things definitely don't sound good--although isn't it a little bizarre for them to be teaching Avada Kedavra to a first-year? It seems dangerous, even. But I loved how Minerva was able to figure out how to fix Hilda's book! She doesn't even seem to realize how talented she is at Transfiguration. I get fonder and fonder of Minerva's Da; even the letter he sent was so full of his personality. Looking forward to the next chapter!

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-03-24
Reviewid: 141277Chapter: 29
I loved the bit with the cat, which is especially ironic when you consider she later becomes a cat Animagus. How is she able to identify with them? The part with the dragons was hilarious, especially the line about a yearly mortality rate of twenty two point seven percent. Dugald Macmillan seems like quite a character, and his behaviour reminds me somewhat of Hermione.

Reviewer: Fab4MumDate: 2006-03-24
Reviewid: 141266Chapter: 1
I am ashamed to say I have only just begun reading this fic, but there's no time like the present. I am looking forward to reading the rest. I think you're doing a great job recreating the characters, location and dialect. Wonderful work!

Reviewer: ReesieDate: 2006-03-22
Reviewid: 141206Chapter: 28
Really great chapter. I have always loved the relationship between DD and Minerva, and it is so amazing to see a origin to it! DD is characterized especially well.

I love his "And I believe it is not potent spells or potions or even leagues of powerful wizards banded together which will finally erase Grindelwald from our world, but knowledge of his weaknesses."

If you choose to continue this story after Grindelwald is destroyed, I think the continuing relationship between Minerva and Albus would be fascinating to read. Great writing.

Reviewer: corvidaeDate: 2006-03-22
Reviewid: 141195Chapter: 28
Oooo, fascinating! i love your description of dumbledor, especially the quidditch bet, very true to character. and the plot thickens.

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-03-21
Reviewid: 141184Chapter: 28
I'm glad that you brought Dumbledore into this, since I've always wondered how he was as a teacher. I laughed at the cactus trick and his response to it, and I think it's very in character to get to know the students so well. It was interesting to know of Minerva's grandfather and his connection with Grindewald. I'm looking forward to how you develop Dumbledore's and McGonagall's relationship, since they always seemed to be close.

Reviewer: ZallahDate: 2006-03-21
Reviewid: 141180Chapter: 28
I like the history and backstory you've written for Grindelwald, especiallly his involvement in the Napoleonic Wars - I have a particular fascination for that period of history.

Also, I've enjoyed your characterization of Minerva; reading Rowling, I generally see her as one of those people who was never really a child. You've done a great job of bringing out various facets of her youthful character, and I look forward to watching her develop.

Reviewer: RowanRoseDate: 2006-03-20
Reviewid: 141146Chapter: 28
Beautifully woven together! Brilliant!

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-03-19
Reviewid: 141097Chapter: 20
I'm still trying to work out the nature of Mrs McGonagall's illness ... but those certainly were creative medicines. Did anyone think to try a Cheering Charm?

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-03-19
Reviewid: 141096Chapter: 19
Poor henpecked Minerva! She's hardly settled at Hogwarts before they bring her home again to have her inheritance bickered over. And Filch is her first cousin? Curiouser and curiouser...

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-03-19
Reviewid: 141093Chapter: 18
A very funny chapter, but my favourite part was the exploration of the theory at the end.

I loved Gig’s story-telling. Is she the real person behind the pseudonym Fifi Lafolle? And how amazing that Minerva made the cut for the House team (Dewitt Jently, snerk!). Are you going to tell us how Binns died? But Ogg is the gamekeeper – Pringle was probably caretaker at this date.

What a disappointment about Doctor Tofty! I liked him in canon. But he certainly doesn’t seem to be a talented teacher – no wonder they relegated him to curriculum assessment. I don’t blame Minerva for producing form lessons. I can just see her standing up to teach the class herself.

Meanwhile, Dumbledore’s book is pure Dumbledore. Yep, fit a cheval mirror into a handbag by means of a sledgehammer, no trouble! I’d like to hear more about the “gold into lead” idea. I notice you didn’t express it the other way around – it seems alchemists have more trouble with lead into gold! I always did wonder at how a teapot could turn into a tortoise. Surely a Transfigured object can never become a true, live animal, no matter how much it may look and act like one? And I’m sure the number of molecules available must affect the effectiveness of the Transfiguration. You can make Something out of Very Little, but not out of Nothing At All.

But Minerva’s asking too much if she thinks Gig will be interested in theory – she must know her friend better than that!

Reviewer: corvidaeDate: 2006-03-14
Reviewid: 140936Chapter: 27

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-03-13
Reviewid: 140888Chapter: 27
Hmm, interesting. You have a good sense of suspense, and the mystery of who bewitched this creature and why will keep me reading. I liked the reference to house elves and Muggle plants. This almost sounds like it's a precursor to the more powerful Imperius Curse, which is quite chilling. I love Minerva's determination to find out what happened to her mother, and the last line about being a family again is so poignant.

Reviewer: anyaDate: 2006-03-09
Reviewid: 140734Chapter: 26
It's just like a fairy tale, brave, strong Minerva leaping off to save her Mum from the Erkling after overhearing all that! And the miraculous landing *wink* beautiful!

I particularly liked the over-heard conversation, it had a wonderful straining-to-hear and frustrating qualities to it that every kid remembers from trying to listen in on their parents while they bang around the kitchen or the bathroom! There is, as usual, to much beautiful language and detail to mention or I'd be quoting the whole thing, but this was *really* thrilling! Wonderful wonnnderful!

She sniffed at, nuzzled Ma's face. A cry escaped her lips, unlike any she ever could remember making, the cry of a bairn hungry for its mother's touch--or of a bitch defending her pups. She concentrated a withering gaze on the thin, white creature--the hunter become hunted--which stared at her, horrified

Reviewer: corvidaeDate: 2006-03-07
Reviewid: 140674Chapter: 26
agh! you canna stop there lassie! it seems like things are really coming to a forefront, i have to admit that despite your amazing writing i was dissapointed to see minervas life take a turn out of the harry potter universe and away from the intrigues of school. but now that her mothers illness( which is decidedly magical after all) is retreating it also seems like things are right on track and quite exciting! poor minnie doesn't even like cats.

i'm unsure if you've been updating this story or not but i cannot wait for the next chapter, the writing is really superb theres so much to discover. like what the heck is that creature?!

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-03-07
Reviewid: 140654Chapter: 17
I felt sorry for poor Magnus, and I just hope he remains unaware of his own ineptitude. “More idols than a Babylonian king” – clever.

<<She wished she knew the Aguamenti Spell Goodie used to fill the bath tub. She’d charm herself a jugful--no—two jugs full of water--and pour one over Suze’s head.>>

I can just see her doing it, too! I hope she learns the spell in time to teach Susannah a lesson – it reminds me of the Housemate issues of my own youth.

That was a nice cameo of Nearly-Headless Nick pitying himself, and a neat explanation for his anachronistic ruff. “Fistisleeves” – LOLOL! And so the mystery deepens. New questions asked, old ones not answered.

Reviewer: ArimalkaDate: 2006-03-06
Reviewid: 140613Chapter: 26
Minerva is so...Minerva. haha. You never cease to amaze me.

Reviewer: RowanRoseDate: 2006-03-06
Reviewid: 140611Chapter: 26
This is a wonderful story. You have a good grasp of using dialect and an excellent skill for taking a minor character and creating a believable backstory for it as well as making that backstory one of which the reader anxiously awaits more.

Reviewer: corvidaeDate: 2006-03-06
Reviewid: 140598Chapter: 4
wow. i read "colins first love" and thought hey i should see what else this fabulous author has written...then i realized that YOU wrote "gift of the mages" which i read a couple of months ago and loved. so i thought, gee i obviously HAVE to read childhoods end.

here's where the wow comes in. this story is amazing, the way that magic and language and scottish culture weave so seamlessly together is so gratifying to see. it is an absolute pleasure to read this story, it requires no struggle of the imagination and i am not exaggerating. i've only read up to chapter four but i can not WAIT to just gobble the rest up tomorrow! you have such a naturaly talent and i can tell that it is going to keep me up late and distract me from my obligations for the next couple of days; and really, isn't that all anyone asks of their favorite authors?

Reviewer: hermiaDate: 2006-03-05
Reviewid: 140545Chapter: 26
Oh, this has just been getting better and better! I love mysteries. I finally *got* a bunch of the "where this is going" bits in the last few chapters, though one of the biggies I've been pretty sure of for a while and this chapter confirmed it. I was seriously creeped out for the first half of this chapter (oooh, and back at the begining when they were in the cave). Hurray!

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-03-04
Reviewid: 140513Chapter: 26
I love the fact that Minerva doesn't hesitate to save her mother, and instantly goes into action. I also liked the fact that there was a good explanation for her mother's depression. I also liked how you could tell that Jupitar really loved his wife and daughter, and wanted the best for them. Chilling and also moving at the same time.

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-02-27
Reviewid: 140340Chapter: 25
It's interesting to learn more about Minerva's past, since we know so little. I could easily see her grandfather being effected by the war. You paint such a compelling picture, it's easy to imagine how the hatred of the Germans gets passed on to another generation. I liked her gradmother's hospitality, and it seems frankness runs in the family.

Reviewer: Grace has VictoryDate: 2006-02-20
Reviewid: 140098Chapter: 16
A rare example of the first few days at Hogwarts being made interesting for an ordinary student! I felt Minerva's pain in her simple attempt to find the bathroom when she didn't know her way around the castle. Won't she be in trouble for modifying the school uniform? That's usually considered very very naughty.

Loved the references to the canon minors – how will we cope with having both Ogg and Egg on staff? Hilda Bagshot and Mina Grubbly both look like a case of Hermione Granger in the making, and Kenilworthy Whisp was likeable. I'm interested that you found a cameo for Viridian too – not as Voldy's stooge, but as his inspiration! Gora was frightening, and Leek was colourful (I wonder how she came to Britain). And what has happened to Professor Slughorn?

Oh dear, Flint ... Floo powder was invented by Ignatia Wildsmith in the thirteenth century C.E. But it's interesting to think of a character with a name like Caractacus Flooble – maybe a golden-haired Philistine from Western Asia?

And now I'm curious about what the mangrove might do – but the mystery of Rowdie's last botched spell has well and truly overshadowed it.

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-02-19
Reviewid: 140028Chapter: 24
AH! The Clever acronyms never cease! LOHKS! You can eat it on a bagel! But not with cream cheese, I don't think its kosher. :D

Poor Giggie, shes such a sweetie pie, her parents need a wakeup call Augusta Longbottom style (are we seeing some foreshadowing for Minerva talking to Neville in HBP? eeenteresting) I love Giggies stories and weaving, shes so sweet!

And I almost feel...sorry for Petey going to that positivley medieval Durmstrang! And "grow your own Dark Creatures?" Hummmm what *are* those Macmillans doing..

I loved the Tartan banter too! Pumpins wrapped around their middles- Golden!

Reviewer: anyaDate: 2006-02-16
Reviewid: 139903Chapter: 23
Cuthburt is cruisin' for a bruisin' talkin about Rowdie that way! *gasp* I adore Rowdie, especially after this chapter *swoon* What a grand, romantic tale in the fairy tale tradition!

But first and foremostly: ROCK ON MINERVA! Holding her own in a duel like that, she doesn't go down easy, that's for sure (took three stunners to take her out in OotP) I loved seeing where she got her start!

And we get even more of your wonderful extensions and explanations of the wizarding world, everything comes so wonderfuly alive in your stories, it's irresistable really! I loved Minerva talking to Lady Anne, and the whole spooky concept of Framing (Shades of Oscar Wilde! Wonderful!) and the thought of a wand not working against its master (that makes so much sense!) And now that we know what PLAGUE stands for that's another excellent puzzle piece to fit into place.

Reviewer: SaraDate: 2006-02-14
Reviewid: 139826Chapter: 23
Wow, Mary Ellis, that's such a good and convincing explanation, I'm impressed - I hope everything else will also work out fine for Minerva ...

Reviewer: PygmyPuffDate: 2006-02-14
Reviewid: 139825Chapter: 23
Good chapter, although not one of my absolute favorites. I liked the loyalty of Minerva's friends. (And I was a fan of the Minerva versus Poppy part!) A good resolution, too, to the mystery about Rowdie. I don't trust those McGonagall relations, though, particularly Cuthbert. Suggesting that a first-year go against a seventh-year in a duel is positively evil. A fair amount of action. I look forward to the next chapter!

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-02-13
Reviewid: 139790Chapter: 23
The wizard's duel was exciting, and I love the portrayal of people in canon that we don't know much about, especially Amelia Bones and Poppy Pomprey. I also like the fact that Minerva is good at Transfiguration at an early age. I don't think that Rowdie is a Squib, because then he wouldn't have had a wand. Filch is a Squib, and he doesn't have one. But then maybe wands were given at an earlier age then. Is Dumbledore her new Transfiguration teacher?

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-02-06
Reviewid: 139452Chapter: 22
The idea of McGonagall being related to William Wallace, even distantly, is an interesting one. She certainly is wiling to defend others (Gryffindors, and in the fifth book, Hagrid). The fact that her parents also went against convention is also something intriguing, because we have seen the consequences of that happening before (Andromeda and Ted).

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-02-05
Reviewid: 139377Chapter: 21
Ohhh! What a wonderful birthday gift! That brings back so many wonderful memories of good books with leather covers and translucent paper pages!
`*`"What guid will it do to be able to light up yer insides?"

"Perhaps you can use it to tell how much flour's left in the bin," said Minerva.

"I always knaw that. I'm the only one ever uses it." `*`

I love that exchange! It's very sweet homespun sort of humor, perfect for Goodie! Minerva and her parents are so wonderful to watch together, and its so sweet to see her grow her little garden in her Mum's window for a chance to spend time with her! It must be very scary for Iffie with catatonic type Schizophrenia, but how wonderful that her family has stuck by her despite her illness (holy cow and I thought it was Manic Depressiveness! I fail diagnostics 101!) And that she is honest enough to talk to Minerva about it, and that she found some way to cope with dancing! But this line took the cake, I actualy got a little misty eyed thinking of my own Mum!

"You're my mother," said Minerva simply. "Nothing else but that matters."

"And that I'll never forget." And she drew her daughter to her and clasped her fiercely.

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-02-05
Reviewid: 139376Chapter: 20
Even Minervas lessons at home are wonderful! For some reason, I like the fat grumpy toad. Just one of those lovely little details that make this story extra awesome.

Jupiter and Iffie are so sweet together! Even their trips for her health sound wonderfuly romantic, it's so sweet that they went all those lovely places together to find a cure for her. Tibet (woo! represent!), Japan, Germany, sounds like an itinerary I'd like. I've actually been to a Snake church, I don't know about the magical ones, but the secret for the muggles is to sit in the front, they keep the snakes so they're sluggish! But Iffies love for dancing and getting in to other cultures is marvelous (what an amazing image, the diamond dusted skin in sunshine!) Wonderful element to this story, to learn about Minervas parents and their love for eachother *dreamy sigh*

Reviewer: mary ellisDate: 2006-02-04
Reviewid: 139329Chapter: 21
Hi everyone,

Thanks for keeping the faith.

To Sara and Anya--Sorry it's been a while. Real life keeps getting in the way of my fantasies.

To Ari--JKR gave us such a varied group of teachers at Hogwarts, I just had to keep up with the tradition. And you were prophetic in your hope that M would make the team, but alas... And thanks for loving M's mum as much as I do.

Anya--Trade your beloved black for 'a loud plaid skirt'? Sounds like the universe getting back into balance. Regarding the verisimilitude of the Quidditch tryouts, I'm an old jock myself (hockey, b-ball, lacrosse), so I've been through a lot of those.

Falling Damps-Welcome to my world, and I hope you'll have time to continue reading CE, even though you're grinding out your own fic--one of my faves--A House Divided.

revolvingstaircase-I do love ruminating on the dark past of the Potterverse--how things were different back then, and yet how some things never change.

Ada Kensington-Your critique means a lot to me--you write so well yourself. Ewan Munro is a wonderful beta, but if he ever does a bunk, I'll be happy to have you pass on my attempts at writing in 'the mither tongue.'

PygmyPuff-Ah, dear Rowdie. The mystery deepens--but will be partially cleared up soon. And about M receiving no letters while at home, I actually did write one from Gig, then realized it was just chat, so deep-sixed it and went right on to M visiting the school--which is the next chapter. And the next two after it are full of Minerva's friends. And you're right, having so much happiness and such nice parents, Minerva should not turn out quite the way she does, but there are a lot more chapters to this story.

AmandaB-I have my good beta Ewan to keep me on track with correct descriptions of Scotland. F'rinstance, i didn't know that midges were the National Pest of Scotland, that there are no wolves or bears in the place, and hardly any trees. And no coal or limestone to speak of in Perthshire, but lucky me, magic can explain away darn near anything! And no, we can't get rid of Binns (though Tofty's another case altogether). Every student needs at least one teacher they can grouse about--even Minerva McGonagall.

Sara-About the chapter length, you're right. I didn't realize that most fic writers do about 15,000 characters a chapter. For that reason (and per your request), I've started bunching some chapters together, so you'll see a lot more scene changes (and more ~*~s) in the future.

Reviewer: ArimalkaDate: 2006-02-02
Reviewid: 139221Chapter: 21
It's so heartbraking to read about Minerva's relationship with her mother. You've done such a good job writing it.

>>"You're my mother," said Minerva simply. "Nothing else but that matters."<<


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