Reviews For Year of the snake

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 30 Mar 2018 07:57 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The return of Quidditch

This is the first entirely-new chapter, isn’t it? I’m so excited.


Ginny has some pretty powerful truths here in this chapter. Particularly this – “People accept a lot when they’re not given a choice”. Tbh it’s quite reminiscent of the world we live in today.


Omg I love that the password to Snape’s office is Dumbledore. I can totally see that happening too, like he set that as the password to remind himself what he’s doing there and about the promises he made. It’s sort of to hold himself accountable. That password shows a lot more human side to him – as someone who knows the whole story – but is still vague enough that people like Ginny assume the worst of it and wouldn’t guess the true meaning. I will never love Snape but this redeems him like .001 of a point.


Their plan for the sword is very well-intentioned and they’ve thought about the right things (like the fact that Ginny will be a number one suspect if anything happens), but I know that it ultimately doesn’t work, so I’m kind of intrigued to see how this all pans out – whether they try it and they get caught, or whether this plan never materializes. I can’t remember if there was any mention of them trying to get Harry the sword in the books – it’s been years now since I last read it – but I can’t tell whether it’s canon or whether you made it up. (If you did make it up, your storytelling is very convincing! And if it’s based in canon, the details you added and the way you brought it about fit in so perfectly.) Also, it’s a small thing here but I like how Neville begins to take a little initiative and volunteer to be the one who takes the sword.


I’m really glad Snape allowed Quidditch. It’s of no consequence to him overall, but at least the students have that one bright spot in their year.


Poor Flitwick (and really all the teachers) are in a difficult position, and I hadn’t really thought about just how difficult until reading this story (because in DH we don’t really see much of what classes were like). Obviously he doesn’t want to give anyone detentions because of what detentions have come to mean, but it doesn’t give him much in the way of actually doing anything about students who are not paying attention in class or being disruptive – the professors’ hands are tied.  I’m really glad Neville realizes this and attempts to get them out of that situation and stop talking.


Great chapter!

Author's Response:

Ah, Kristen, your reviews always make me smile. :) Thank you!!!

The password being Dumbledore is actually canon - at least, that was the password when Harry went into the office at the end of DH. I was quite proud though of how I made that fit with the truth as Neville and Ginny thought it was. Them trying to get the sword is also canon: it's one of a limited number of things that we know about that year at Hogwarts that I need to include in this little tale. I'm glad you think I pulled it off, because that's very heartening - sometimes the insertion of something like this can feel a bit forced but it sounds like it's not in this case, so thanks again. :D

I feel sorry for the other staff, too. Their hands really are tied, because if they report someone for bad behaviour they have a fair idea of what will happen to them, so the more minor misdemeanours are less likely to be reported. But that of course means that they lose control of their classes that much more easily because they can't usethe discipline they have relied on in the past. Neville is an understanding person, though, and (I believe) a people-watcher, so he *gets* that.

thanks again, Mel xxx

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 02 Mar 2018 11:03 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The new arrival

On a scale of 1 to 10, my love for Luna Lovegood is a 20. I love how she spearheads the mission to get the DA started up again, and how for her it isn't even a question of whether or not to do it, or who will or anything. It's just when. Restarting the DA, for her, is just the thing to do, and there aren't any what-ifs for her. I love that.


But anyway, I've sort of got ahead of myself iin this review. This was such a great chapter (am I sounding like a broken record? I think I say this every time... but it's true every time) and I really enjoyed seeing how the wheels are turning and how things are really getting started. It seems like Ginny and Luna are both very much on board with it, and I think Neville is too, he's just struggling with the idea of being looked to as an authority figure, or a leader, or something at such direct odds to how he perceives himself. And I like that you included that struggle - he knows what is the right thing to do and he's been wanting to make a difference and fight back, but it's not as easy as just jumping right in, especially not at that point in his character development. Anyway, I thought it was realistic the way you wrote him here struggling with the weight of the decision.


Ginny's insistence that her contraband from Fred and George's shop is 'technically' not illegal because she didn't purchase it is hilarious and so Ginny, but yeah I tend to believe Neville that the Carrows won't care. Ginny's smart enough to keep that out of sight and not get caught with it, but I'll still be worrying about her in the back of my mind until I know it's not an issue anymore, so like 30 chapters from now. XD Also I can totally see Fred and George just giving all of this stuff to her for free. Solid characteriation of the twins even though they don't even appear in the chapter!


I am so looking forward to seeing the dream team of Neville, Ginny, and Luna bring back the DA - I think they've pretty much almost convinced Neville by the end of the chapter and can't wait to see how it proceeds. I'm eagerly awaiting the next chapter - the first new chapter! :D Wonderful work on this. <3

Author's Response:

Ah, Kristen, I do love your reviews. Please don't get disheartened by the fact it takes me forever to respond to them; the fact is I don't get to log in here much anymore (life!! Ugh.) and to be honest these are the only reviews I'm responding to at the moment. One day hopefully I'll  find myself with a lot of spare hours and be able to dedicate that time to review responses, but at the moment it's only the story I'm updating, which is you! :D

I'm very fond of Luna, but at times I do struggle to write her. I'm very heartened that you feel I'm (still) getting her right because it really can be quite difficult getting the bluntness right, if that makes any sense. However I am reading the series to my eldest at the moment and I think that's giving me a new insight on her - who knew that reading it aloud to someone else could have that impact? 

I absolutely think you're right and the Carrows won't care about whether Ginny has bought the WWW items or had them donated to her, but in her mind she hasn't broken any rules and that absolves her from the responsibility of declaring them to Filch.

As for the DA, well of course it's coming back. And fairly soon, too. Neville has a lot of hesitation on the matter, but it really is only a matter of time. He can't put up with what the Carrows are dishing out forever, after all, can he?

Thanks again for a simply wonderful review. I so love hearing from you. And yes! New chapter, coming right up! :D

cheers Mel

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 02 Feb 2018 01:52 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

Hi, melian. I might have left a review at hpff before, given the circumstance with mojibake, I'd like to submit a new review for this chapter.

Honestly, I really enjoyed this. I got thrilled at the thought that a new trio, Ginny, Neville and Seamus plus Luna, I should say a quartet will try resistance from here. And I predict you will write about the year, Deathly Hallows from inside of Hogwarts, the resistance's POV. I have a vision, the last scene already, they will unite with the trio, Harry, Ron and Hermione at that scene. It's very promising.


I also enjoyed each scene, description of each character. You caught each characteristic very well. I like all of them, how Ginny told Seamus that she liked Dean in spite of her dumping him. The way Neville liked the fake Moody. How long it took Seamus until he got to believe in Harry and joined DA. Luna's insight about  Professors at Hogwarts.


I'll be back again soon!


Author's Response:

Thanks Kenny! I know you've been looking forward to this being posted on HPFT and I am getting closer to getting some *new* chapters up. Really glad you liked it, especially the characterisation because i do find some of these Hogwarts era students rather difficult to write.

And, yes, at the end you'll see Harry, Ron and Hermione coming back to lead the Battle of Hogwarts. To be honest I'm kind of looking forward to that too!

cheers Mel

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 18 Jan 2018 05:03 AM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The Carrows

*pounces on new chapter*


Every time Neville thinks something like "He had never been particularly noticeable" it's like I just got kicked in the feels. It's the same reaction I had in the books when Luna said the DA was like having friends. I just want to hug him. For me, as someone who was also rather invisible in high school (but never beheaded a Horcrux or anything to make up for it), I really relate to Neville here and I want for someone to tell him how awesome he is. His self-esteem is so low and I appreciate that you never say it directly, but it's obvious in the asides/thoughts he includes in the narrative. You really are so wonderful at your characterisation.


I really enjoyed the exchange between Ginny and her friends about Harry. Not like in a "this is a fun conversation" way, but just the way it was written, the cynicism, dry humour, and the amused glance at Neville, it was so perfectly Ginny. The interaction between Ginny and the third-year Slytherin with the Slug Club memo was kinda interesting too, and I wonder why he seemed so afraid of her. I suppose she would have become sort of a big name in Hogwarts after dating Harry and just being such an outspoken, bold person in general - people probably know who she is and that she can't be messed around (by third years at any rate)


Tangent: Every time I see Mimbulus mimbletonia my first thought is always that there's a typo because Mimulus is an actual genus of small flowering plants that I've done some research on. Then I remember this is fanfiction, not work. XD By the way, taxonomic species names are not capitalized, so mimbletonia should be lower case. (Um, if that kind of small, insignificant detail is important to you :P )


That sounds like the most miserable Herbology class. What a group. At first I thought (hoped?) that Malfoy would be less obnoxious because he doesn't have his friends with him, but instead he's just more subtle about being annoying and still does it just to amuse himself. Alas. :P


Yikes. Even though I knew what was coming for Seamus, it was still so hard to read. I could totally feel the tension in the room though as the class collectively holds their breath, and the reality of how awful things are starts to settle in. I found myself curious about Malfoy in that scene - right before everything was revealed, Malfoy seemed excited to watch Seamus  get punished, but I doubt he actually knew what Carrow would do to him. So I wonder what he thought; I doubt he's horrible enough to enjoy watching Seamus get Crucio'ed. I almost wish we'd been able to see his reaction. That said, it makes sense that we didn't see it, because Neville wouldn't be watching Malfoy - he's watching Seamus, and we see what Neville sees. But anyway, yeah, that was a very visually powerful scene and so vivid to read. Poor Seamus D':


The Carrows are awful. The end.


Poor Neville at the end there, still just wishing Harry was there to stand up for them all. I wonder how long it will take for him to start to actually do something about their horrible situation and internalises that no one will stand up unless he himself does. I think it's still a while off, because things haven't got really bad yet (I mean, things are bad, but I know they get worse. Right now people are still actually asking questions in class), but Neville is already having these thoughts about standing up. Omg, that would take so much courage.


Once again, another phenomenal chapter. Great work.

Author's Response:

You know what? I was like that in high school too. Took going to a completely different school and even changing my name for that to change. So yeah, I get Neville from that perspective too. And I'm not sure that kid was scared of Ginny so much as kind of in awe of her. She would have been very well known, as a Quidditch player and generally popular person in her own right, and then as Harry's girlfriend, so I'm thinking that if he hadn't really crossed pathis with her before then he probably would have found her a bit intimidating.

And thanks for the tip on species names! I'll have to go back and correct that. (You guessed right, it is important to me, hahahaha.)

As for Malfoy, yeah, he was horrified too. You're right in that we don't see his reaction because Neville is so fixated on the front of the class, but yeah, he's shocked. Didn't think they'd actually use Unforgivables on students. But for the sake of appearnces, he has to swallow that and pretend he's okay with it all. (Poor Draco. Maybe i should write a story from his POV for this period. It might be interesting.)

Thanks so much for another epic review. I promise next time to respond more promptly!!!

cheers Mel

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 21 Dec 2017 07:44 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The welcoming feast

Once again, another absolutely perfect chapter. You've nailed the underlying sense of unease that would go with the first day back at Hogwarts - it's too early for everyone to be dead scared yet, but clearly things are different with the actual Death Eaters there and the class changes, and the fact that the Great Hall - which is huge- is so empty. I love that Neville finds comfort in the fact that Professors McGonagall and Sprout are still there, as they are holdouts from when things were good at Hogwarts and Neville knows they are trustworthy, and they represent to him that maybe some things this year still have a chance of being normal.


Snape is particularly well written too. I like that he doesn't really have any reactions to anything, and is for the most part neutral and detached. It's exactly what I'd expect from him in this role - although working against the Death Eaters, he can't give any indication that he is, but at the same time as Neville pointed out he doesn't have much of a reaction to the Sorting Hat either. (I mean, I guess he's learnt by this point to pick his battles, and arguing with a hat is probably a battle he knows is not worth it :P) I get the feeling that most of the year he'll just kinda sit back and watch chaos happen until things happen that could destroy the Order and only then would he intervene with a logical-sounding excuse. I kinda doubt he was actually passing information to the Order during this time, because Dumbledore was the only person who knew and really trusted him, and then he killed Dumbledore, so unless he told someone in the Order about their pact at some point, they'd have cut off ties with him. But maybe not? I don't know. Anyway, I rambled a bit here but I'm really looking forward to your writing of Snape in this story because I think he's such an important character in his duplicity, especially during that year.


I like that Luna is the one to suggest the DA - and it seems like it's just because she misses it and the camaraderie that it produced, and then the idea dies because they think one person has to be in charge of teaching the others. This really makes sense, especially that early on in the year when things are so new and no one would want to be putting themselves out there much - keeping your head down and blending in is the safe thing to do. So yeah, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops too as they need an outlet for their resistance.


Seamus kinda breaks my heart at the end there. It does seem very realistic that Neville wouldn't trust him as much as he trusts the people who fought with him in a battle at the Ministry in fifth year, the same year when Seamus was listening to rumours about Harry, it's like Seamus still has more to prove. But it's just the two of them alone in that room that used to be the five of them, and that's so lonely, especially when there's no trust there, and I can't blame Seamus for feeling bitter. I think trust will happen quickly though, when they realize how much they have to stick together in order to just survive in what the school has become.


Wonderful chapter. Your writing is flawless as ever. ♥

Author's Response:

See, Kristin, you spoil me with these reviews. Though, the good news is that they inspire me to write more so there is more chance of me actually getting around to finishing this story, so that's a good thing. I'm glad you like Snape here because while my own interpretation of him is fairly solid, not everyone agrees with it and he's one person you often get accused of having out of character. Luna is another and I do struggle with her, so thank you for liking how I'm doing her so far. I agree that it feels right that Luna would be the one to suggest re-forming the DA - as she said in HBP, "I liked the DA. It was like having friends." And that just breaks my heart, but it really does give me a good base for her characterisation.

Oh, and I agree that Snape wouldn't be in touch wiht anyone in the Order (other than, you know, McGonagall ... but I mean on Order business). As far as they are concerned he has burnt his bridges and revealed his true colours. So fitting for one as secretive as him to have yet another layer to peel off before you get to the real man inside. (Severus Snape, the onion. Now there's a mental image I won't forget in a hurry!!)

Seamus breaks my heart as well, but really, in this situation, you wouldn't know who to trust and who not to, would you? I'm going to try to make that even more stark as the story goes on, but using Seamus here is a really good way of making the point, I thought. Glad you agreed!

Thanks again for the review, I really loved it. :)

cheers Mel

Name: poppunkpadfoot (Signed) · Date: 03 Dec 2017 06:33 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

Hi Mel!


I really enjoyed this first chapter a lot. I've actually never read a fic like this before that's set at Hogwarts during Deathly Hallows, and I think you did an excellent job of developing and communicating the atmosphere that would've permeated Platform 9 3/4 and the train. It makes total sense for everyone to be very wary and for there to be a lot of tension, especially within that small group in the carriage. I liked that you had them confronting each other and didn't shy away from there being a tense atmosphere, it wouldn't have been so realistic if they'd just been all super friendly and having a casual catch-up about their summers, lol.


One thing I thought was really interesting that I had never given any thought to before was Neville's mixed feelings towards Mad-Eye Moody (or, well, fake Mad-Eye Moody). I'd really never considered how Barty-as-Mad-Eye won Neville's trust and the repercussions it must have had on Neville to find out that he was actually a Death Eater - and not only that, but one of the Death Eaters who'd tortured his parents. I can't even imagine how that would feel and I appreciated that you included that.


On a related note, I thought everybody was perfectly characterized. I think you have a really good handle on every single one of these characters. In a story like this that takes place during canon and everything, I think that's really crucial and it makes me want to keep reading for sure.


Great work!



Author's Response:

Kayla! Thanks so much for having a look at this J

I’m told there are a few stories set at Hogwarts during DH but to be honest I haven’t read any of them. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing but at least I’m not going to be influenced by any stereotypes or tropes that might apply. But, like you, it’s not the first thing I look for when I’m looking for something to read ,but that’s quite possibly because if I’m looking at fanfiction I probably want to find something a little more light hearted, which this certainly isn’t.

I’m glad you liked the little aside about Moody and Barty Crouch junior. I imagine Neville would have some very conflicting emotions about Crouch for exactly the reasons you state – trying to reconcile the man he knew with the man who tortured his parents would be difficult for anyone. Thanks for picking up on that. J

And thanks for the comment about characterisation. As I’ve said to others, if you keep reading and think I go off target with any of them, please let me know. I find Luna in particular very hard to get right, and I’m never totally sure that my reading of Ginny or Neville is the same as everyone else’s. So I’m feeling somewhat placated, but also a little nervous about coming chapters.


Cheers Mel

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 03 Dec 2017 05:11 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

Hi Mel!  I believe I heard a little rumour that you might be working on continuing this story, so maybe this is some encouragement for you?


I honestly shouldn't be surprised by now when I read your writing, because it's always wonderful, but your characterisation here was so strong and convincing - I loved your portrayal of Neville especially, and I can't wait to read more about him.  He's one of my favourite characters in the series, and we know that this year is the year that he really comes into his own, so I can't wait to read more about how his character develops through the year, and how he grows into the leader that he never thought he'd be.


I loved the opening scene with Neville's gran - we've always known that she's been hard on him, and he's found it difficult to live up to her expectations, but it's clear even here that the relationship is changing and everything he's done to this point - the DA, the Ministry, fighting the Death Eaters that Draco let into Hogwarts - has changed her opinion of him, and it was sweet to see that moment.


We see Harry and the others on the run in the books, but I'm excited to read more about what it's like for the people who've gone back to Hogwarts.  Neville is really astute about what people really mean, and it's clear - even amongst friends - that they're not all being open and honest with each other.  The suspicion there is horrible, because it's suddenly an atmosphere of not even being able to be sure that you can trust the people in your dormitory, let alone anyone else.  And on top of that, half of their friends aren't returning and the school is going to be run by Death Eaters.


I thought you captured the tone and feelings really well here, especially the nerves at the thought of going back to a Hogwarts when they have no idea what to expect; I'm looking forward to reading more of this!


Sian :)

Author's Response:

Aw, Sian, what a lovely review! Thanks so much for checking this story out .. and I can always do with encouragement of this sort. Even if it does take me forever to write responses (sorry!!!!). Honestly, I have so many reviews I need to respond to now, but given this is a WIP and I don’t like posting chapters if I haven’t responded to all existing reviews, I thought I’d better give it priority.

You know, I had trouble with characterisation in this story so I’d be interested to see how you think I go as we get further along. Luna in particular is tricky to get right, I think, but I’m also never sure that my version of, say, Neville or Ginny or even Seamus is on target. I mean, I have my way of interpreting them, but who’s to say whether it’s what JKR envisaged? Sigh. These are questions that can never really be answered, but yeah, I’m always keen to know if you think I’m veering off course with that sort of thing.

A few people have picked up on the suspicion, and I think that’s really important. The number of people who said about the first war that you never knew who you could trust means it’s something I think would have reappeared in the second war. The use of the Imperius Curse and also people who reported others just so they wouldn’t be targeted themselves is something I think we can’t ignore. So thanks for that.

Oh, and Augusta Longbottom is a gem of a character. I really enjoy the bits where she makes an appearance. I hope you will too. J


Cheers Mel

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 20 Nov 2017 01:07 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

I went to go transfer my review from HPFF, but... turns out I didn't review the first chapter there. ?!?! That's fine though, gives me an opportunity to start fresh with this story and read from the beginning again. I have missed it! I think I'm in the minority on HPFT in that Hogwarts era is actually my favourite. And I'm thrilled to see what you have in store for this story, especially as Neville is a character who changes so much over the year. A lot was going on at Hogwarts while Harry was camping in the forest.


Your characterisation of everyone in this chapter is flawless - it's like this is a page out of the books themselves. And that first scene with them all in the train and having this awkward conversation because no one knows where the others stand - it all seemed so realistic and really highlights the way the war is affecting people. They mention the big things like Charity Burbage, but it's in the smaller things like how they won't be 100% honest with one another and guess the truth in the awkward silences that really speaks volumes. Except for Luna, of course, who is as honest and bold as ever because that's who she is. Love her. Ginny is also particularly well written and her surliness and determination here, which is quite different to how we've seen her in the books, says a lot about the state of things.


Wowwww, what you said about Neville and Barty Crouch Jr. I'd never really thought of it quite like that but I'm so glad you pointed it out. It says a lot about Neville, honestly, that he is able to find something he respects about Barty Crouch Jr given that BCJ was one of the people who tortured Neville's parents. And it's all because Barty noticed Neville as a person and thought he had talent and potential and encouraged him and made him feel like he wasn't invisible, and that can mean the world to a kid with low self esteem. And because of that, Neville thinks highly of an Auror he's never actually met, and even appreciates something about Barty Crouch. Neville would have been a great Hufflepuff, with the way he sees the good in others to that extent. ;)


If you don't mind a bit of CC (or maybe it's just me being confused) I found this possible continuity error:

"He could be laying low at Sirius' place for all we know, just keeping his head down. -- Forgive me if this is a silly thing to point out, but I was a bit confused Ginny told this to Seamus, because does Seamus even know who Sirius is, apart from all the stories about him being a 'murderer' who escaped from Azkaban several years previously? Would he know of any connection Sirius has to Harry?


But that aside, this is a phenomenal start and Im so, so excited to see this story finally gracing the archives. I can't wait to see where you take this story. Great first chapter 1000/10

Author's Response:

Hi Kristin!!! And thank you so much for dropping by this story again, even though it’s going to take AGES to get it all up as I still have a load of work to do on it. Did you really not review the first chapter last time? I’ll have to check … but for the record, I’ll be writing all new responses to reviews on this site, given it’s been SO long since I posted anything on the old one. J

First, your CC – and that’s certainly a valid point. However, my thinking is this: After the battle at the Ministry, Sirius was exonerated – or, at least, that was how I read the beginning of Half Blood Prince, with Fudge talking about him being innocent. I can’t imagine he would have admitted that to the Muggle PM if it hadn’t been acknowledged publicly. I also imagine that, in the media coverage of the battle, it would have been mentioned that Harry et al were present. The dead man’s relationship to Harry would, I imagine, have then been revealed – something along the lines of, “Sirius Black left his hiding place to help his godson battle Death Eaters”, which also explains why he came out of hiding on that occasion. As you know, the media loves the personal angle on everything, and as this was about The Boy Who Lived I would think that it all came out over that summer. Hence, Ginny wouldn’t be telling Seamus anything he wouldn’t already be expected to know.

Of course, feel free to disagree with me, but that was how I interpreted it all.

Oh and thanks for that comment about Barty Crouch and Neville. I have always thought that Neville would have mixed feelings about Barty Crouch … yes he was partly responsible for the attack on Frank and Alice, but he still showed Neville some kindness and understanding that he really needed at that point of his life. If I was Neville I would have awful trouble reconciling those two facts.

This was quite a short chapter compared to most of the others, so hopefully the next one will feel a little more substantial. I’m not doing 5000 word chapters for this fic, but yeah, longer than this one will I expect be the norm.

Cheers Mel

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