Reviews For Moons of Deceit

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Reviewer: captburke (Signed)
03/16/2009 10:29 pm

So far I'm liking it. Surprised Snivellus didn't tell the MacDougal's about Remus being a werewolf.

Author's Response:

Thanks. Snape wanted to tell, but he had promised Dumbledore to keep silent.

Hiding from Hunter's Moon
Reviewer: captburke (Signed)
03/16/2009 09:13 pm

Reserving comments until I've read a few chapters.

Not a bad story, just not sure yet if it interests me.

Author's Response:

Wise judgment ... It is a rather quiet beginning.

Truth under a Waxing Moon
Reviewer: prisca knott (Signed)
06/30/2008 11:56 am
Dear Grace, I see the updated version of your novel is up at least, even if not hear! That's a good excuse for reading it over again, if excuse is required. By the by, from which fanfiction site do you start posting? You see, I'm really eager to read your new things, and knowing where to look would save me a lot of time while checking whether they are on-line yet. I see you haven't altered this chapter at all, which is very well, because it's really well done as it is. Snape makes a scary appearance here as ever, given that he is such an unespected guest, for Lupin and for the reader alike. I would like to know where did you get your "inner Severus" from, because he sound worringly authentic. Every time I have a look at him dealing with Ariadne, I wonder what does he actually think about her, or, for that matter, how does he feel about her, since her intuitive skills, so often spent on Severus, are nevere employed to analyze his ideas about his cousin...
And I agree with what so may people have written already, you are excellent at describing said and unsaid of social relationships. To me, the best of it was, for this chapter, the contrast bitween the way you describe the "unremarkable party" (There were plenty of rumbledethumps..."), which has in itself all the unsinkable reasons that make extended-family parties such a wanderful thing, as William seems to understand perfectly well, and the hypocris behind this specific occasion, a contrast which is, I guess, partially responsible for Ariadne being "too weary to socialize". What does silly Remus want, by calling her "a forgettable beauty"? As a reader, I find her inresistible, in particoular when politely angry. I also appreciated the coherent image you gave of the wizarding world: only few fanfiction-writers make me realize how small and interconnexed it must seem from the inside!
I like Remus better than any other Harry Potter character (and I'm really glad to see that in your stories he really is himself), but I'm glad to know that Ariadne came to your mind independently from him, since she is so much more than Lupin's other half. i can't help liking her much better than Tonks: not that I have anything against the latter, but I sometimes think that her way of being "uncommon" (which is, I suppose, what she is expected to be) is a bit cheap. I mean, being pink-haired and goofy (how is it called properly?) is not enough to make somebody really special... whereas Ariadne has had a full novel and a complete characterisation, instead of few scattered allusions, to prove herself pure gold. I better stop chatting!
Actually, I had never thought of that Prisca untill you pointed her out to me, and, evangelic or not, she is pretty much a thin character to borrow a name from: I chose it because it's full-sounding and because it means "ancient" in latin, which makes it some sort of "a name with an (uncommon9 attitude" I sometimes share. Besides, it's the somehow embarassing name of a strong-willed and evil-hating character of a wonderful children book by B.Pitzorno, sadly never translated in English. Knott is just a clumsily oldend (is "to olden" really English?) form of knot.
Thank you again for all the fun your stories provide me with!

Author's Response:

My dear Prisca,

So many good questions! Thank you so much for the care you take with your reading. I feel rewarded twice-over for writing (the first reward, of course, being the writing itself).

I usually post on the Sugar Quill first. The problem is that the SQ would not accept "The Werewolf's Bride" because the nastiness of the Veleta situation was too explicitly spelled out. But, yes, I am going to update here. The only change you would have noticed in these early chapters is how I have renamed the Macmillans. The four sisters were originally named Grace, Prudence, Felicity and Mercy. I later realised that this was exactly the reverse of the correct order, since the first sister becomes a Healer, the second is always happy, the third is an ambitious businesswoman, and the fourth is spiritually sensitive. But I didn't know when I first wrote this that they had separate personalities!

And you may have guessed that I love Lupin too! Who else would inspire me to write so much? I can't say I "love" Snape, but he is certainly one of the most interesting characters. As for my own inner Severus, well, I think my natural tendency is to hate and despise people who annoy me and to wish I could hurt them as skillfuly as Severus does. Unlike Severus, I hope I am working at improving myself!

I think Snape has a subconscious affection for the MacDougal family, simply because they have treated him normally, neither opposing him nor using him. He knows that Ariadne is "good", and therefore has something of a protective instinct towards her (and she of course knows it). But naturally Snape never admits that he loves anyone.

I am so glad you understood the party. I am not always confident that I portray unspoken social relationships well. It was meant to be, as you say, an unremarkable extended-family get-together, with the food as the most exciting part of the event. But in fact it was an attempt to deny that anybody in the MacDougals' circle had ever hurt anybody else, and to insist that people trust one another whether they had reason to or not.

I love that you find Ariadne irresistible. So do I! She was the inspiration who kept me writing, even more than Remus himself. He did find her appearance "forgettable" at first, because she is no beauty; it's her personality that is memorable, and he needed time to find that out.

I agree that we don't know Tonks very well in canon. She is a very likeable girl, but it takes writers like FernWithy to bring her to three-dimensional life. I gave far more words to Ariadne than JKR gave to Tonks, so that is probably why you feel you know her better. I have to say that I was surprised that JKR gave Remus a lover with pink hair and a Cockney accent; I had assumed that his tastes were more conservative. I knew about Ariadne before HBP, so I had to rethink how they could BOTH be the right woman for Remus.

Thanks for explaining your user-name. I suppose the "ancient" idea is connected with wisdom and the "knot" with complexity. "Oldened" is not a word; I think I would say "archaised", but I don't think that's a word either!!

Thank you so much for all your support,


Truth under a Waxing Moon
Reviewer: prisca knott (Signed)
05/31/2008 07:50 pm
dear GhV, although this is the last thing I should be doing right now, I'm having a look at your stories once again... after you told Binka Fudge on Mugglenet, I realized that the last part of "the Moon Courses" had indeed been posted somewhere, so i went for it on the SugarQuill, but I wanted to have a global look at your novel once again, so I've started from the beginning... by the way, I've read somewhere that you have always wanted it to be a tetralogy, but that is not a very common format for a novel: how did it come to your mind?
And about Ariadne's name: it is really beautiful, with its unlikely, greek-sounding spelling, and the way you once put it - Ariadne-the-maze-solver - really makes sense, I only questioned it because what came to my mind was rather Arianna abandoned in Nasso (which didn't make sense at all, unless you inserted the forgetfulness-potion version, which I had never heard about before) or Arianna consoled by Bacco, which was even wider off the mark. Still, it sounds quite strange that the Mcdougals chose to christen their daughter so - the do seem to stick with the Celtic name-type: wouldn't Ariadne herself wonder about this rather exotic choice? If she does, please let her know that her name is perfectly lovely as it is, only somehow surprising... however, she already is a surprising girl under so many points of view!Even if I don't really have the means to appreciate the formality every English speaker immediatly note in her speech, I am glad to know that it is there, as much as I like her relationship with Remus being shed for such a long time by very "proper" behaviour. You are really right for not trying to make her look her own age, because this is something that can really be achieved without trying - let alone the often neglected fact that not all sixteen-years-olders are the same, neither do they speak all the same.
Am I wrong if I think that in this very first scene Ariadne, although she is not attempting to flirt with him or the like at all, finds Remus very attractive? This is quite a crude way to word it, expecially because - if i got it right - you have really made an excellent job of not wording it at all; not to mention that Ariadne herself surely hasn't worded it out yet.
By the way, her first appearence in the window sit is really elegant and graceful, like a miniature to bring along - which is, I guess, what Remus will do in the future. Didn't the very first sentence of the chapter use to tell something about her eyes?
I'm surprised by your attention to ethnic background in describing characters: people in Italy are usually clueless about what their "ancestry" is and they surely don't expect it to have an impact on their outward appearence: is it more common in Britain or is it another McDougal peculiarity? You must be a good observer: the McD. are so plausible because this kind of family does exist, but it's uncommon for many respects. Describing (or, for that matter, understanding) uncommon family dynamics isn't easy at all, beacuse people tend to ignore the fact that not every family in the world is a copycat of their own. Enough for now!You still amaze me: this story really is first rate and I do wonder where did you get time and energy for this bitween teaching 6' form and having quite a large family to care about... May I ask wether you are writing anything new right now? Or are you too busy dusting away every tiny inconsistency with DH canon in what you have already written? Your only character I can think of whom you could really want to alter a little is Snape, but I might be overlooking something. Or did anything turn up about Hannah? Thank you again for this really strong story - Prisca

Author's Response:

Dear Prisca,

Thank you for putting the time into yet another amazing review. Are you Italian? I wouldn't have guessed. How did you come up with a user-name like "Knott" or "McKnott"? Is "Prisca" after the tentmaker in the Bible?

About the tetrology: originally the story was a trilogy, but in the end the back-story for Ariadne's childhood refused to be compressed into a mere 3-4000 words, so I had to expand it into a whole novel, supplemented by a mirror-image story about Remus's childhood. But there always was going to be one story for the courtship, one about the discovery of Wolfsbane Potion, and one about the consequences of trying to change society.

Regarding the name "Ariadne": it took me by surprise, but it kept pushing its way into my mind when every Celtic name in the dictionary seemed wrong. I agree, her parents are the types who would have chosen a Celtic name; but I suppose they are also quite widely-read and would know the Classics. Only after I had begun posting the story did I discover the one Celtic name that might have worked: "Feiltiarna", which means "lady of wolves". But it was too late to change then, so I gave this name to a minor character. In a revised edition, I will make it Ariadne's middle name.

About that first chapter: I think the point is that Ariadne is always right about people. She likes Remus very much because she recognises him for who he is. She wouldn't analyse or verbalise her feelings, so she has no consciousness that he is her soulmate, and she doesn't spend much time thinking about him until they meet properly the following summer. But of course all the dynamics are already there.

About Ariadne's speech patterns: I was trying to imitate the kind of English spoken in Scotland. However, I was not necessarily accurate - no doubt some irate Highlander will correct me there.

I am glad you liked that opening scene! Unfortunately, I am not artistic, but I think several scenes were designed to be painted! That's how Ariadne floated into my head: a Celtic girl stirring her cauldron. I made her a Pictish/Gaelic cross to emphasise that she is from a very ancient magical family: both these groups were living in the British Isles long before the Anglo-Saxons came. Most modern Britons are a mixture of Saxons, Vikings and the three Celtic groups, but there are some people (in parts of Scotland and Ireland, in most of Wales and Cornwall, and in East Anglia) who can identify with only one or two of these groups.

About Ariadne's family: that's a large part of what made her who she is. In a different family, you could imagine an honest person like her growing up to be very outspoken, perhaps even a little rude; the discipline of growing up a MacDougal is what gives her her soft edges.

Regarding finding the time: my husband thinks it took me too long! But I have to write. I'm very unhappy if I can't use words creatively. That might be why I like teaching. I can be the person who stands in front of the captive audience and do all the talking!

Regarding future writing: Well, since teaching became full-time, I haven't done as much, but I have done some. I have nearly finished a challenge to retell one of the traditional fairy tales in a Hogwarts setting, so that will probably be what I post next. I also wrote 2/3 of a story about the two "missing" Gryffindor girls, but that had to be shelved after DH was published. I still think it might be worth finishing one day, but with extensive revisions. I also have an idea for a shorter story about Tracey Davies (a Slytherin whom we know only from the classlist).

And am I revising "Moon-Cursers"? You have guessed correctly - I am! I have nearly finished doing this, so you might be one of the last people ever to read the old version. You are right, I've made a few changes to Snape, but not many; it's not so much his actions as some of the timing that needs to be finalised. And we now know that Hannah is a pure-blood, so I've had to cut her out of the plot and replace her with Terry Boot. Since he is a very different person, that made some very interesting changes to the classroom dynamics.

Thank you very much for all your encouragement,


Truth under a Waxing Moon
Reviewer: Calamur (Signed)
05/14/2006 07:55 am
I loved it..... awesome comeback chapter.... :)).... i feel really bad for Remus though....

Author's Response: Yes, poor Remus. I believe that the greatest tragedy of his life is his inability to forgive himself ... which is why he finds it difficult to face up to his faults ... hence his great act of self-deception in PoA. Add the worst there is to know about Sirius, and it's a very unpleasant sequence of events all round. Thanks for reviewing.

Examined under Rose Moon
Reviewer: Calamur (Signed)
05/14/2006 07:49 am
it's an interesting chapter.... not my favourite in this story.... but still good enough to read through.... I usually scan and go through... but this had me reading :)

Author's Response: Thanks for caring enough to read! There was actually a serious point to the bullying episode, because the Macnair sisters will literally [i]never[/i] forgive Ariadne for standing up to them. That will be important in the sequel.

Death Eaters Undeceiving
Reviewer: Calamur (Signed)
05/14/2006 07:06 am
Excellent chapter.... when do James and Lily go out? LOL......I couldn't help but ask?

Author's Response: Fair question; since there won't be a "ship" for Remus in this story, of course we need the vicarious pleasures of James and Lily. She will warm to him in chapter 10, and you will also view them as a couple in chapters 12 and 14. I also provide a love-interest for Sirius, and I don't mean the motorbike!

Defying the Moon's Demand
Reviewer: Calamur (Signed)
05/14/2006 06:58 am
Nice chapter... though I like the Remus parts more....the OC's are brilliant and so well written....I assume there will be a point where she and Remus meet soon

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing. I don't blame you for liking the Remus parts better - don't we read fanfiction to bring us closer to the canon? You've already seen Ariadne's first meeting with Remus (chapter 1), and we don't rejoin that timeline until chapter 17. In the meantime, however, look out for parallel experiences between the two sets of characters.

Eschewing Deceit
Reviewer: Calamur (Signed)
05/14/2006 06:40 am
Wow.... the chapter had everything... friends, enemies, pranks, death... it was complete

Author's Response: Thank you! It was really JKR who made sure that Hogwarts gave the students "everything"; I just filled in a few gaps. Keep reading. If there are four things that I can promise you in this story, they are friends, enemies, pranks and death.

Barricaded against the Moon
Reviewer: Calamur (Signed)
05/14/2006 06:25 am
i liked this chapter... for a lot of things.... i assumey that you think Snape killed his father. Very interesting could very well be true

Author's Response: Whoops, I didn't mean to suggest that Snape killed his father. But I do think that Tobias Snape was a mediocre person, and that he didn't have a great relationship with either his wife or his son. Anyway, Severus is now alone in the world, so if he makes the wrong sort of friends, there will be no-one to guide him...

Deceit at the Wedding
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