You are viewing szaleniec1000

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Hogwarts Overexposed Chapter 8

Hogwarts Exposed: Hooch: om nom nom
This chapter is titled "The Milk of Life", and not since Chapter 22 of Too Exposed was called "Joining" have I been more disturbed by a chapter title.

“He hasn’t kept anything down except water in the last seventy-two hours,” Jamie pleaded. “If Ben doesn’t get some real nourishment soon, he’ll die.”
“If the infant dies, so will you all!” Hooch screamed heartlessly.

Well, that's pretty redundant. When she's talking about the death of a baby in terms of how it'll banjax her plans, and then threatening to kill several more children into the bargain, "heartless" pretty much comes with the territory.

“Why is that?” Emily asked.
“Why is what?” Jamie asked impatiently.
“Why don’t women’s breasts give milk at all times? I mean once you have reached the age when you can have children, of course. Cows give milk every day of the year and they aren’t always pregnant or feeding a calf, are they?”

You fail dairy farming forever: cows, like humans and I think every other mammal, don't usually give milk without first having been pregnant. I'm from a huge built-up area and almost everything I know about farming comes from listening to The Archers, and I still know this, so I don't know what the author's excuse is.

Jamie stared at Emily, suddenly aware of how Hermione felt when asked a question to which she didn’t know the answer.
“I can’t answer that,” she said. “Maybe that is one of the reasons why they are starting sex education classes this year at Hogwarts.” Jamie shook her head in frustration. “I can’t believe that I’m capable of transforming into another creature, yet I can’t even explain properly how my own body functions.”

I'm sorry, but that's bullshit. Since when was someone as supposedly clever, hard-working and studious as we're supposed to think Jamie is limited to learning only what's on the syllabus? She might not have learned it at primary school (I'm not sure KS2 sex education goes into that much detail now, let alone when Jamie was at school) but if she's ever been curious about it she'll know. I'd say especially as her mentor is the head of pastoral care, but given how shit Hermione should realistically be at that role it doesn't really mean anything.

Out of the blue, Jamie was struck with an inspiration. “Caitlin, whilst working with Madam Pomfrey at the Hogsmeade clinic, didn’t you say that you were once able to help a woman go back to breast feeding? A woman’s whose milk supply had dried up?”

Surprisingly enough, this is a call-back to something that actually happened. Chapter 3 of Too Exposed, when Caitlin hyperempathised Jamie's breasts after they got sore from running (itself contradicting Chapter 23 of Exposed, but whatever):

“Jamie, it’s not like I’m going to mistakenly shrivel them to nothing. Making simple soreness go away is the easiest thing a hyperempath does. Last week at the Hogsmeade Clinic I learned how to restore milk to a breast-feeding mother whose supply had gone dry. If I can do that, I surely can relieve your tenderness.”

Caitlin's work at the Hogsmeade Clinic (not to be confused with the friendly village backstreet abortion parlour) has been barely mentioned and only ever described second-hand, so you'd be forgiven for thinking the author had just pulled it out of nowhere. I dread to think how long the fic would be if all the missing scenes were included.

Caitlin had been scratching Timmy’s back in order to calm him down. The toddler had fallen asleep, his head nestled in Caitlin’s lap. She looked up at Jamie as if reading her mind.

Which she probably was.

“Jamie, that woman had given birth and was already breast feeding. What I did for her was akin to repairing a broken bone.” Caitlin gritted her teeth. “I’m not sure if I can do what I think you’re suggesting. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”
“Will you try?” Jamie implored.
“But what if I do something wrong, something that damages your ability to give birth or even worse kills you?” Caitlin asked.

I'm getting shades of the "reproductive organs" conversation from when Hermione was shot in Exposed. The first horrible thing that comes to mind, even before death itself, is that she can't reproduce. And even that I doubt considering this is Harry Potter fanfic, where you don't need a uterus to become pregnant if you take the right potion. All I can do is repeat what I said there:

I know being rendered infertile must be a traumatic experience, although in the Potterverse there's no reason aside from plain old deus angst machina that it couldn't be fixed just like any other non-magical injury. However, the way this fic portrays it as a fate worse than death in the context of its other problems with gender makes me uncomfortable. Contrast it with the offhand way in which the nameless Auror got castrated earlier on. The clear implication is that if a woman (and only a woman) is no longer able to reproduce then she's a lesser person at best and might as well be dead at worst.

For all the dialogue does acknowledge that getting killed would be worse, I still doubt that "what if you can't reproduce?" would come up if she ever did an experimental hyperempathy on a male character.

“Then you’ll deprive Damien and Hooch of the pleasure of butchering me,” Jamie replied. “Caitlin, if there is even the slightest chance of this working, we have to try. Don’t you see? If we don’t, Ben is going to die.”
Emily gulped. “If it works on Jamie, you better do the same to me.”
“Why?” Jamie asked staring at her sister in amazement. “I’d certainly be capable of supplying enough milk for Ben’s needs.”
“It’s not just Ben,” Emily replied. “You and I seem to be the only two in the group that can stomach what they pass off as food around here. Timmy isn’t eating and neither is Caitlin”

And what happens is exactly what you think happens. I remember it from when it was discussed on TVTropes, back when Hogwarts Exposed still had a page, and knew what was coming as soon as I saw the chapter title. I'll spare you the conversation, which considering this is supposed to be a major dramatic moment that highlights how:

It seemed impossible that in such a short time they had been pushed to such extremes.

... it's such a mind-numbingly dull conversation.

Caitlin slipped out from under Timmy and, after placing his head gently on the floor, walked uncertainly over to Jamie. “I’m glad that I’ve been giving those massages to Mum,” she said. “I’m in harmony with exactly how her body feels both on the surface and internally. I think what I’ll have to try and do is to adjust your organs to mimic hers.”
“Does that mean you’re going to have to have to physically touch me? Can’t you just do it mentally?” Jamie asked.
“I can only do healing mentally when I’m able to utilize my own body as a draft of how things are meant to be.” Caitlin blushed. “That’s why I wouldn’t be able to heal certain parts of a male without actually touching them.

You're in a dungeon, at the mercy of four perverts and probably about to die, and about to modify someone's breasts. You've had underage pseudo-incestuous sex with one of your fellow inmates, and sex in general is one of your favourite topics of conversation. I think you're past the stage of blushing at the mere thought of willies. Back to the FPODD, or possibly Hogwarts, as Hermione finally seems to be taking the initiative.

“How is she?” Sam asked.
“Exhausted, but she refuses to let up. I had to threaten her last night before she’d finally agree to take a break and get some sleep,” Harry answered.
“What time did you get back last evening?” Ron asked as Harry ushered Sam and him into the bedroom.
“Close to midnight,” Harry said. “I don’t know how she’s doing it. Hermione’s been in the air fifty-six of the last seventy-two hours and we all know how much she hates flying. Hell, she won’t even land for meals -- insists on eating while in flight.”

Not on-screen, of course, but something is better than nothing. I'm reminded a little of Harry pushing himself to the limit flying guard duty in After the End, but that was better since we actually got to see his POV.

“Where is she now?” Ron asked, looking around the empty room. But before Harry could speak, Hermione entered the room, her wet hair wrapped in a towel.
“I’m glad you’re early,” she said cordially, obviously trying to conceal her true feelings. “We need to discuss some changes in our strategy. Harry, do you have that grid map of Great Britain that Severus and Draco prepared?”

Those noted cartographers.

“Over there on the table,” he indicated.
“Good,” Hermione said, as she unwrapped her hair, tossed the towel over a nearby chair and then did a quick drying spell on her hair before hurrying over to the table.
“We can’t continue to use Hogwarts as our base of operations, it’s just too far north,” she declared, pointing to a flag marking the location of the Wizarding School on the map. “We need to secure lodging as we travel south, otherwise we’ll spend an inordinate amount of time retracing our steps as we fly back and forth to the castle.”

Are they actually retracing their steps, or are they flying down one grid column then back up the adjacent grid column to cover twice as much ground in the same time? Because if they're doing the latter, they're not going to get as much advantage from moving to a more central location. And if they're doing the former, they need to fire their strategist.

“That makes sense,” Ron agreed looking at the map. “We’ll have to adjust the shifts for flying escort.” He used his finger to draw an imaginary line on the map.
“Instead of alternating every eight hours, one group will have to remain with you until you reach the southern most point of the search area and then return again north. At that time, we will change escort teams.”
“Hermione, are you up to this?” Harry asked. “Fortunately, the weather has been in our favor, but it’s still an unreasonable amount of flying with little rest or sleep.”

The weather in Scotland actually was quite good between the 20th and 23rd August 2005 (source) but this is purely accidental since the fic was written before then.

“Let me slip some clothes on and we’ll get started,” Hermione said, rushing to her dresser.

HE!Hermione normally slips clothes off to get started. In whatever sense you care to take this.

“They’re not going to get as large as Hermione’s, are they?” Jamie asked in concern.
“Quite possibly,” Caitlin answered softly, as if in a semi trance, her hands continuing to move over Jamie’s changing body. “Your body structure was nearly identical to Hermione’s before she became pregnant. It wouldn’t be surprising for it to react in the same way as hers did.”
Jamie’s body stiffened.

The spell hadn't quite worked as intended.

“You’re not actually making me pregnant, are you?” she asked in panic.

It wouldn't even surprise me at this point if she was.

Caitlin smiled, although her eyes remained closed and her mind focused. “I’m a healer. There are limits to my ability, as there should be.

When your characters have a better grasp of narrative than you do, it's time to worry.

Jamie was both elated and… she couldn’t quite describe her mixture of emotions.

Conveniently excusing the author.

If this worked, as it seemed now that it might, she’d be able to hold Ben to her breast and actually feed him; he would live. This knowledge sent an emotional ripple of happiness through her body.

So evocatively described that I can feel perfectly how Jamie... oh, wait, no I can't.

But as she looked around the dungeon, Jamie was brought back to the harsh reality of their dire situation. Was she actually saving Ben’s life or guaranteeing the death of all four innocents?

If she doesn't save Ben, they all die because they're no longer of use to the baddies. If she saves Ben, they all die in the sacrifice. Classic Morton's fork: either way, the readers win.

What hell would be released upon the world if, in fact, Salazar Slytherin actually were reincarnated?

I don't know, because the author has done nothing to sell Slytherin as a threat. He's told us that he was the Ultimate Evil™ and his return spells a reign of terror worse than Voldemort (in fact, he's suggested that the Great One alone spells a reign of terror worse than Voldemort, which is utterly risible) but hasn't shown how. Anyway, Jamie manages to breastfeed Ben.

“I’m hungry,” Timmy wailed as he woke up.
Emily looked in Caitlin’s direction and gave her a ‘see what I mean’ look. “When you’re up to it, I think you should do me,” she said looking extremely apprehensive.

I thought she already had.

Madam Hooch stopped so suddenly as she entered the dungeon that she caused Crabbe to rear end her

Well, there's a Rule 34 I've never seen before.

and Goyle to get caught in the chain reaction.

Which blew everyone up. The End.

“What the hell happened to you!?” she yelled, staring unbelievingly at Jamie’s breasts.
Jamie was about to explain what Caitlin had done and why, but before she had a chance, Hooch’s eyes fell upon Emily. Her eyes practically jumped out of her head.

She knew immediately what she wanted for dinner. So anyway, we get a flashback.

Timmy stared angrily at Emily and Caitlin. “I tried to eat it,” Timmy said, his eyes filling with tears. “I wanted to be brave and make Mummy and Daddy proud of me, but I couldn’t. It makes me sick.”
“Are you hungry right now?” Jamie asked, already knowing the answer.
“Very,” Timmy said, his facial expression so sad that it nearly broke Jamie’s heart.

Considering that we're supposed to be reading about a young child starving to death in a dungeon, this description has all the emotional intensity of a Tuxedo Mark sex scene.

“Caitlin did some magic on my breasts so that I could feed Benjamin just like his mother does,” Jamie explained.
“I was watching,” Timmy said, between sniffles.
Jamie bit her lips before proceeding. “Would you like to try?”
“But I’m not a baby!” Timmy said, ostensibly upset at the thought of being treated like one.

I'm not convinced that his refusal to be seen as a baby would outweigh his hunger if he's not eaten for three days.

“When Hooch tied me to that tree and left me to die, I never thought I’d live to see age eleven,” Caitlin said sadly. “I even prayed to die.” Caitlin threw her arms around Emily and hugged her tightly.

When is Caitlin's birthday, anyway? The first fic made it seem like she was attacked right before going to Hogwarts, in which case her birthday would have to be right at the end of the summer for her to have turned eleven in time. Especially as she was already twelve before the author retconned it. Anyway, she hyperempathises Emily's breasts, but there's a problem:

Jamie hadn’t worried before about her own physical change, but now she felt compelled to query Caitlin. “If we’re fortunate enough to survive all of this, can you undo the changes you’ve made to Emily and I?”
“I’m not really sure,” Caitlin said. “In both your cases, it ought to be possible to convince your bodies that you are no longer breast feeding.” She looked at Jamie. “That means your breasts would return to approximately the same size and shape they were before I did anything. I can also alleviate any sagging that takes place.”
“But what about Emily?” Jamie asked, nervously.
“I’m afraid the rest of her body will just have to catch up,” Caitlin said sorrowfully.

Even if they won't go back to normal naturally, why can't Caitlin just reverse the procedure? She grew them, so she should be able to shrink them as well.

Author’s note:

Yes, an inline author's note. Really.

Picture, if you would, a very well endowed woman such as Hermione or Jamie.

Except Hermione isn't "very well-endowed" in the way the author wants us to think. I have trouble picturing her with the "striking 37-24-35 figure" from Chapter 24 of Too Exposed: I know it's not strictly contradicted by canon, but if you drop it on us without so much as a "Hermione had changed over the summer, developing curves in all the right places" to justify it, then our suspension of disbelief may not be entirely secure. I'll grant that they do get bigger when you're pregnant, but that's already accounted for by the next sentence.

Now imagine their breasts increasing dramatically in size due to pregnancy. Place those breasts on the body of a slender twelve-year-old girl and you’ll have an idea of how Emily currently looks.

I'm reminded of a certain description from The Eye of Argon.

It’s not a sexy or a pretty picture, but rather gross, almost deformed in appearance.

And if the author hadn't spent the previous fifty-five chapters relentlessly sexualising breasts, we wouldn't have needed this disclaimer.

Goyle, as normal couldn’t take his eyes off of Jamie. The increased size of her breasts only seemed to intensify his interest. Crabbe on the other hand was no longer torn between looking at Emily and Caitlin. His eyes now remained focused on Caitlin, totally ignoring the overly endowed Emily.

Did you get that Crabbe's a paedo?

“You seem to have lost Crabbe’s attention, my dear,” Hooch said nastily. “If you’d like those tits reduced in size, I’m sure Damien would be happy to strip some flesh from them.”

I think she's meant to be evil.

“Only if he wishes his own toys turned upon him,” responded a mysterious female voice.
Everyone looked in the direction of the voice, but Crabbe, Goyle and Hooch dropped to their knees.
“Great One, when did you arrive, how long have you been listening?” Hooch asked, fear evident in her voice.
“Long enough,” she declared as she stepped from the shadows, “to know that the loyalty these children share for each other is stronger than the allegiance my servants demonstrate for me.”

Considering she's the Minister for Magic as her day job, you'd think the Great One would have a better recruiting pool and not be stuck with these idiots.

“That is not true!” Hooch wept, flinging herself forward and trembling from head to foot as she collapsed at the Great One’s feet.

I'm not even sure why any of them work for her, either. None of the villains seem to have a motivation beyond "resurrect Slytherin and then something or other".

“Crucio!”
Hooch writhed and shrieked until the Great One finally raised her wand.
“Do not ever take it upon yourself to correct me,” she roared.
“Isn’t that Emma Wrong, the Minister of Magic?” Caitlin whispered.
Jamie didn’t answer, but merely nodded.



“I gave orders that the innocents should be protected; that no harm should befall them. Yet I now learn that two of them were on the verge of starvation.” She looked long and angrily at her minions. “You three owe your lives to these girls. If my plans to awaken Salazar Slytherin had been thwarted because of your incompetence, you would have paid with you lives.”

And it'll be entirely your fault for hiring minion who care more about their own sick jollies than the evil plan.

“Give them proper bedding and decent meals three times a day. I shall on occasion sample what you feed them and it best be to my liking,” she howled.

"Howled" as a dialogue tag doesn't say "don't fuck with this person", unless they're a werewolf. Back to Harry and Hermione's quarters:

“I’ll be all right,” Hermione maintained. “Once they are all safely home, I’ll have plenty of time to rest.”
“You’re not all right,” Harry responded crossly. “Ginny told me that you dozed off last night and almost fell off your broom.”
“Ginny has a big mouth,” Hermione retorted.
“She’s only concerned about you, we all are. You’re just pushing yourself too hard.”

Again, I'm very much reminded of Harry in After the End. It's good that for once Hermione gets a chance to be her badass canon self. It'd have been even better if it hadn't happened offscreen.

“I’ve waited my entire life to have a family to love. I can’t bear the thought of losing any of them, but if I were to lose you too…” The possibility was more than Harry could bear. He couldn’t hold back the tears as he hugged Hermione desperately. “I need you so much,” he cried. “I can’t envision life without you.”
Hermione returned Harry’s embrace, her eyes swelling with tears. Then, unexpectedly, Harry found he was supporting Hermione’s entire weight. She had collapsed in his arms.
* * * * * *
“What happened?” Hermione asked, a few hours later when she awoke in the hospital wing, steam escaping from her ears.
“You passed out,” Harry said, leaning other to kiss Hermione gently on the cheek. “Poppy gave you some Pepperup Potion. It seems that you had a cold, but because of overexertion and lack of rest, it was on the verge of becoming pneumonia. She wants you to stay in bed for at least twenty-four hours.”

Despite her having shown no cold (let alone pneumonia) symptoms in the previous scene.

“Harry, I can’t,” Hermione disagreed.

Yay redundancy!

“The truth,” Hermione sighed, accepting the fact that she really did need rest. “They are too close to the girls; we can’t lie to them. Besides, school starts in a week; the entire wizarding world will know the truth then.”
“You know, of course, that they’ll want to return to school straight away,” Harry advised. “They’ll probably insist on joining the search.”
“Kim and the others are too young,” Hermione said, “but I think Alex should be allowed. He’s of age, after all, and Jamie and he plan to marry.”

I don't think they're actually engaged, are they? There's been a lot of talk, but I don't recall it being formalised. If it was, you can see how much of an impact the scene had on me. I don't think Harry and Ginny or Ron and Hermione got married straight out of school in canon either.

Harry leaned over and kissed Hermione tenderly. “We’ll find them in time, Mione. We have just got to.”

He seems to be slowly giving up on calling Hermione "Mione" - there are 27 instances in Exposed, 14 in Too Exposed and only six including this one in Overexposed. Still six too many, but it's something. Does this count as character development?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Jamie listened as the hour chimed faintly on a distant unknown clock. “The Sorting Ceremony will be starting shortly, followed by the start-of-term banquet,” she announced forlornly. “I’ve always loved the Sorting Ceremony, except when it was mine.”
“Were you scared, too?” Caitlin asked. “You’ve always seemed so brave and courageous.”
“I put on a plucky front,” Jamie said with a laugh. “Besides, remember I was only eleven. I doubt any first year isn’t petrified. I was shy, didn’t know a soul. Just walking into the Great Hall is overwhelming; then add to that the ghosts, everyone staring at you and the creepy Sorting Hat.”

Why would ghosts and the Sorting Hat freak out a pure-blood witch? She grew up with magic, even if her parents only had very limited powers.

“I found that the scariest,” Emily declared. “I hated sitting on that stool with everyone gawking while that Hat made up its mind. There are times I still can’t believe I talked it into putting me in Slytherin; I could have been with you guys in Gryffindor.”
“That would have been nice,” Jamie said, putting her arm around Emily’s shoulder, “but you did the right thing. Kim needed you. Besides, look at the great friends you two have become. I have a feeling Kim and you are going to bring big changes to Slytherin house.”

The portrayal of Slytherin thus far has been very inconsistent (who'd have thought it?) with it supposedly being better than it was when Voldemort was there, and yet it still has "blood traitor" as the common room password and engages in humiliating initiation rituals.

“Besides,” Caitlin added lightheartedly, “You have to get back so you can show Tyler your new boobs.”
“Will you stop it?” Emily shouted angrily. “I’ve told you a million times that Tyler and I are history.” She looked disgustedly down at her breasts. “Even if we weren’t, one look at these monstrosities and we would be.”
Emily shook her head in disgust. “The most depressing thing is that it was all for nothing. Once Emma Wrong got on Hooch’s case, the food changed dramatically and Timmy started eating. I’m deformed for no reason at all.”

Just because you acknowledge that it's an idiot plot doesn't make it any less of one. Speaking of Wrong, I'm curious as to what they said when she disappeared and we had a scene break. What did they think of the fact that their enemy was now the Minister for Magic?

Amanda looked disconsolately around the Great Hall. The excitement normally associated with the start-of-term banquet was absent. Most certainly, the Sorting of new students had taken place as it did at the start of every school year, but the cheers erupting from the house tables had been more sedate than in years past.

Well, so much for the big conflict about whether she'd be coming back to school, even though she's got no real reason not to.

Why Jamie, Caitlin and Emily were missing was supposed to be a complete secret, so, naturally the whole school knew about it.

This worked in Philosopher's Stone because everyone was already at school: JKR's implication was that it'd only have taken one student to overhear a teacher talking about what happened with the Stone and it'd be all round the school by the end of the next lesson period. It was summer holiday and none of the named characters in this fic ever seem to interact with anyone else anyway, so it doesn't work the same way.

They similarly knew about the prophecy, therefore no one questioned the absence of Professors Potter or Granger from the head table.

Surely Harry and Hermione would be absent because of their connection to the missing kids, not because of the prophecy.

Tyler had initially sat next to his brother, but once he had learned the reason for Emily’s absence, he moved and squeezed himself in at the table next to Kim. This move greatly displeased his brother, Dick Bancroft.

It displeased him so much that his reaction wasn't even described.

“Is there any news?” he asked Kim, placing his hand caringly over hers.
“I’m afraid not,” Kim whispered softly. “You know about the link Caitlin and her Mum have. Well, they’ve been searching everywhere since the disappearance was discovered, hoping that Professor Granger could contact Caitlin. They covered the Shetland and Orkney Islands, all of Ireland and Scotland, including the Isle of Man. They’ve also covered England and Wales as far south as Cardiff. They’re now covering the rest of England from the west heading toward London.”

Expospeak!

The buzz of chatter filling the Hall ceased as Severus Snape got to his feet.
“So!” said Snape, looking around at them all, a cheerless expression on his face.

Snape is back in character!

The Headmaster sighed deeply, picking at a stray hair on his sleeve as he measured his words. “The Inter-House Quidditch Cup will not take place this year,” he said as if out of the blue.

It might as well not have taken place last year, considering that hardly anyone has ever been awarded or docked house points in Hogwarts Exposed.

“Jamie Zacherley, Emily Zacherley-Potter and Caitlin Potter along with Benjamin Potter and Timothy Weasley were all kidnapped upon return from their summer holiday. They are believed to be presently in the hands of the person calling herself the Great One.”

Shouldn't she be Caitlin Granger, considering she was adopted by Hermione before she was married?

The Hall remained silent, the students hanging on Snape’s every word.
“We believe that unless a rescue attempt currently underway is successful, they will be sacrificed in an attempt to fulfill a prophecy evolving the resurrection of Salazar Slytherin.”
Amanda noticed that even the Slytherins, with a few exceptions, seemed appalled at this notion.

Why, though? I get that people will be scared at the idea of anyone coming back to life who's a thousand years dead, especially a famously powerful wizard who's likely to disrupt the existing balance of power, but what makes him as uniquely and terrifyingly evil as everyone seems to think?

“As I was saying, we are to have the honor of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months. The first of what I hope will be many such events that will strengthen our binds with our American cousins. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the very first International Wizard Survival Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year.”
This announcement would, under normal circumstances, have been greeted with enthusiastic cheers, but due to the Headmaster’s previous illumination concerning the kidnappings, it was only met with only polite applause.

Especially as we don't know what it is yet.

“This will be our first competition with the United States since the colonies declared their independence. All the details as far as participating have not as of yet been ironed out, but will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. And now, it is late, and I know you all want to be alert and rested for your first day of classes. So, off to bed.”

The Americans are coming! And I wonder if there's any connection with the fact that we've been introduced to some American characters earlier in the fic.

Saturday, September 3, 2004
“Thanks, Tom. Tell them that we’ll join them shortly for breakfast,” Harry said closing the door to the room Hermione and he had rented the previous night at the Leaky Cauldron.

This is the most description of a location we've had for a while.

“Severus, Ginny, Alex and Draco are downstairs waiting for us,” Harry advised. “They just arrived on the midnight train from Hogsmeade.”

Why didn't they just Floo? It'd have been much easier, and you wouldn't have had to make the Hogwarts Express run at midnight on a day it doesn't run.

“I think they all wanted to be here for either eventuality,” Harry said, a depressed look on his face.
“Either?” Hermione questioned.
“By this evening we will have completed our search of all the remaining territory in England. They want to be here to either help us with the rescue or comfort us if we come up empty handed.”

It's great how they just happen to be imprisoned in the last piece of territory the search party has left, right at the eleventh hour. All the author needed to do to avoid this being a contrived coincidence would have been to make it a spell the Great One used to defy detection.

For the first time since their incarceration, the captives had been immobilized. Crabbe and Goyle had entered the dungeon late in the afternoon and one by one chained them, spread eagle to the wall by both their wrists and ankles. Caitlin, Timmy and Emily actually hung by their wrists, their feet, especially Timmy’s, not even nearly touching the floor.

Because Petrificus Totalus would have been too easy. I know Damien prefers Muggle methods from way back in the first fic, but he's not in charge here.

Two weeks had passed since their kidnapping and now the rising of the new moon was only a few hours away. They weren’t going to be rescued; they were all going to die. Jamie watched helplessly as little Timmy bawled hysterically.

If this is because he's in pain from being chained up or upset from picking up on everyone else's terror, fair enough. If this is because a four-year-old actually comprehends the situation enough to recognise and fear his impending death, I call bullshit.

It was hours before anyone returned to the dungeon, and when they did, Crabbe and Goyle were pushing a huge stone cauldron. It was larger than any cauldron Jamie had ever seen; the belly was large enough to hold two adults, or four children. Jaime shivered at the thought.
Crabbe and Goyle had to struggle with the cauldron and even cock it to one side in order to finally get it through the door. Once finally inside, they ignored their captives as they first filled the cauldron with water and then with their wands conjured a crackling fire beneath it.
The liquid in the cauldron heated extremely fast. The surface was not only bubbling, but also sending out sparks as though it, too, were on fire.
“There was definitely something already in that cauldron before they added the water,” Caitlin suggested. Jamie agreed.

No shit. What would we do without the characters to tell us things we already know?

“The time has come,” The Great One said, first looking at the bubbling liquid and then at the helpless innocents.
Emma Wrong walked over to the cauldron and dumped the contents of her urn into it, the water hissed and turned a vivid yellow.
Hooch followed and emptied her container causing the liquid to turn a dark poisonous-looking blue.
Damien hesitated as if unsure he wanted to empty the contents of his vial, but when he looked toward The Great One for direction, she returned an impatient glare. He quickly emptied the vial’s contents into the cauldron. It no sooner touched the boiling liquid than the potion turned a burning red; the light it gave off filled the dungeon as if sunlight was suddenly streaming in through a hundred windows.

"Those things they put in there must have been magical," said Caitlin. (Actually, we're not given any clues at all as to what these mystery ingredients were. A better writer would at least have tried to include some kind of symbolism, or else skipped right ahead to the blood.)

“It is ready for the blood of the innocents,” Emma Wrong shouted madly.

Maybe I've read too much My Immortal, but "madly" as an adverb on a dialogue tag just makes me think of "I yelled in madly". (And then swooped he in singing to the tune of a gothic version of a song by 50 Cent.)

“The blood of the heir first,” she commanded.
Damien walked slowly toward Timmy, a shining silver dagger in his hand. Timmy struggled hopelessly at his binds, crying even harder than before. Jamie closed her eyes as the point of the knife penetrated Timmy’s arm and blood seeped from the cut. Timmy wailed uncontrollably as Damien collected a vial of his blood and returned to the cauldron.
Damien had barely turned his back, when the cut on Timmy arm miraculously healed. Jamie’s eyes went from Timmy to Caitlin who was deep in meditation, a trickle of blood on her own arm.
“Blood of the heir, given to return his greatest ancestor.”

Obviously her hyperempathy also stopped him from wailing uncontrollably, or they'd have had no chance of hearing this.

Damien walked over to the cauldron and carefully added only two drops of Timmy’s blood.
“The enemy,” Wrong bellowed, seeming to be on the verge of losing control.

Earlier in the chapter and elsewhere, the author seemed to be going for Wrong as the cliché of a competent villain surrounded by foolish minions. What happened to her in the meantime? Did he just change his mind? What went Wrong? (Sorry.)

Hooch handed Damien a new vial and his cleaned dagger. Jamie clutched Ben to her chest and tried to shield him by turning as best as possible toward the wall.
“His arm is small, the dagger extremely sharp,” Damien said, almost sympathetically, as he neared Jamie. “I need but two drops. Struggling will only serve to enlarge the injury.”

In fact, it'd have made more sense to give this role to Wrong as she'd hitherto been portrayed, because all we know about Damien is that he's a raving sadist.

Reluctantly, Jamie turned toward Damien, thus exposing the helpless sleeping infant. Damien pressed the blade gently against the crook of Ben’s arm until blood began to trickle. He collected what he needed and went to turn.
“Thank you for being gentle,” Jamie murmured, tears filling her eyes.
Damien didn’t speak, but gave Jamie a weak nod of his head, then returned to the cauldron to add two drops of Ben’s blood. Ben turned restlessly in his sleep as Caitlin healed his arm.

And what's happened to him? We don't know whether there's actually been a scene between the baddies that was cut and explains why they're behaving differently, or the author's just writing them inconsistently.

“Blood of the foe…forcibly taken.”

Goblet of Fire, forcibly plagiarised.

“Sight and health,” Wrong squealed. “Health first.”
Caitlin gritted her teeth, knowing that no one was going to share her pain or heal her wound. But Caitlin was surprised. Damien was being uncharacteristically gentle. She had expected him to sadistically slash her arm, but instead he had only pricked it enough to cause bleeding.
“The blood of the Healer for Health and Strength.”
Emily cringed. Her blood was the final ingredient. Would Emma Wrong actually succeed in resurrecting Salazar Slytherin?

I'd have thought she'd be more concerned that, you know, she's about to die.

“You have the makings of an admirable foe,” Damien said as he approached Emily. “It’s a pity that you must die so young.” Without further word he slashed her arm. Because of the speed with which it was done, Emily thought the wound would be deep, but it was only superficial.
“The blood of the Seer to light the path.”
As Damien added Emily’s blood, the Great One mumbled an incantation and then stepped away from the cauldron. At first, it seemed like nothing was going to happen. The cauldron just seemed to be simmering, continuing to send off blinding sparks.
Then, without warning, the sparks were extinguished. The cauldron stopped bubbling; steam billowed thickly from it, filling the room and obscuring the view. No one was moving; even Timmy was quiet. It seemed like everyone was holding his or her breath waiting, just waiting. Then…
“WHO DARES TO AWAKEN ME FROM THE SLEEP OF DEATH!?”

Well, of course. The fic is subtitled "Salazar's Return": it'd be a little bit off if Salazar didn't, at some stage, return. Though if this had just been some random dead wizard who had no idea why these people thought he was Slytherin, that might actually have been funny.

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
duster
Jul. 23rd, 2014 12:24 am (UTC)
That isn't a title, that's a warning.

I think that tags needs to be renamed "thirty fetish pileup" because this is just a fucking clown car of weird fetishes going on. Huge tits on little girls, transformation, little girls feeling up other little girls excuse me while I go drink to forget.

I will admit, I'm honestly surprised the resurrection happened. Because up until now just about every bad thing that could've happened has been deus ex machina'd or handwaved away. I was expecting some grand sappy rescue overshadowed by breast fetishism.
szaleniec1000
Jul. 23rd, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
I'll never get over the course this fic sets. Chapter 1: a rather dull summary of the author's headcanon for what happens after the books, and a few tantalising mentions of OCs. Chapter 2: Hooch eats Hermione's nipple and Snape gropes her better. For any other fic, that'd be the low point, but it keeps getting worse.

I was expecting some grand sappy rescue overshadowed by breast fetishism.

It's coming in the next chapter, and it's glorious. I think I've hinted at the upcoming scene before.
zelda_queen
Jul. 23rd, 2014 09:43 am (UTC)
If memory serves, the whole... erm, feeding subplot here was so squicky that even the fans got put off by it. Neil, true to form, insisted it was completely justified and they were looking at it in the wrong way.
szaleniec1000
Jul. 23rd, 2014 11:33 am (UTC)
There didn't seem to be anything about that subplot in the archive, but I found some interesting messages anyway:

Neil: "I don't consider it sexual, but I'm expecting someone reading to consider it as such." The classic argument: it's not his fault his readers are perverts! Very HG131, come to think of it.

Neil, on Damien's sudden change of heart: "Damien is not happy about this whole Salazar thing. He thinks Emma is making a big mistake, plus he's worried that it will knock him down a notch in the chain of command. Damien uses his toys to torture people who he believes superior to him. I guess you could say it his way of bring them down a notch. Torturing kids would not give him the same pleasure he gets from torturing adults." And you wouldn't have to tell us this if it had been more clear in the writing.

Neil: "I often wonder if any actual nudists have read the story and how they feel about the way I depict their life style." Not well, I'd imagine.
danel4d
Jul. 23rd, 2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
That actually starts to make Damien seem halfway interesting. You know, if had actually been shown in the text in any way.

Though how it makes me imagine him also makes it impossible for me to imagine him working with the Minister of Magic, who is also an evil overlord.
szaleniec1000
Jul. 23rd, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, and apparently the cow!fail was intentional. Whether it was intentional before a reader pointed out that cows don't work that way is something we might never know.
raxistaicho
Jul. 27th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not buying it for a second that Neil believes the shit he wrote in that author's note. That was just him going "No, I'm totally not fapping to Emily being busty, honest D:"
katistrophe
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
“It’s not just Ben,” Emily replied. “You and I seem to be the only two in the group that can stomach what they pass off as food around here. Timmy isn’t eating and neither is Caitlin”
Oh great. They're not gonna... they are, aren't they? ...it'll be a while until I can look at any kind of milk again.

“When you’re up to it, I think you should do me,”
*snrk*

I'm reminded of a certain description from The Eye of Argon.
The one the MSTing described as "a pair of cantaloupes attached to a baseball bat" or something like that? Thin enouff 2 b anorexic but wif relly big bobs, to roughly paraphrase My Immortal? And Crabbe is still drawn to the horror-boobs? It's trainwreck fascination, clear and simple.

Maybe I've read too much My Immortal, but "madly" as an adverb on a dialogue tag just makes me think of "I yelled in madly". (And then swooped he in singing to the tune of a gothic version of a song by 50 Cent.)
Same here, I'd say, but then I've read My Immortal so often there were times I could quote it to the typo.

Though if this had just been some random dead wizard who had no idea why these people thought he was Slytherin, that might actually have been funny.
As long as it doesn't go the way of... what was the fic Sith sporked on tumblr? With Squirrelmort? One of the Robst ones, right?
szaleniec1000
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
The one the MSTing described as "a pair of cantaloupes attached to a baseball bat" or something like that? Thin enouff 2 b anorexic but wif relly big bobs, to roughly paraphrase My Immortal?

The very same. She's "slender" with a "trim build" but has "huge outcropping breasts" and even speaks "bustily".

As long as it doesn't go the way of... what was the fic Sith sporked on tumblr? With Squirrelmort? One of the Robst ones, right?

Knowledge is Power, the one where the ceiling falls on them in the Ministry at the end of Order of the Phoenix and they're sent back in time when they meet Lily and James in the afterlife. In which Harry has a magic gun (where'd he purchase that?) that can shoot clean through Shield Charms because why not. Not quite as bad as ITWATN.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
But it's still by Robst, so it's not gonna be good at all...
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 05:39 am (UTC)
This chapter is titled "The Milk of Life", and not since Chapter 22 of Too Exposed was called "Joining" have I been more disturbed by a chapter title.

Oh shit. This is the chapter with THAT scene, isn't it?
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 05:40 am (UTC)
Well, that's pretty redundant. When she's talking about the death of a baby in terms of how it'll banjax her plans, and then threatening to kill several more children into the bargain, "heartless" pretty much comes with the territory.

How does Ben factor in, anyway? IIRC, he was just kinda a "more the merrier" addition to the sacrifices and wholly unnecessary.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 05:44 am (UTC)
Since when was someone as supposedly clever, hard-working and studious as we're supposed to think Jamie is limited to learning only what's on the syllabus?

I saw this idiotic character snag coming from a mile away when Hermione started describing Jamie on the train in the first chapter of Exposed. Considering the repeated and numerous biology fails that Neil's had thus far, it shouldn't surprise me that his primary Sue, supposedly every bit as smart and intelligent as Hermione, would be unnecessarily ignorant on her body, even though she's SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD!

One of the many reasons I hated her character as soon as she was described, because I KNEW that Neil wouldn't be competent enough to pull such a character off.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 05:54 am (UTC)
Which she probably was.

Not because of the Hyperempath nonsense, mind you, but because every single goddamn character in this series shares the exact same mind, like the Delightful Children from Down the Lane(recurring villains from the old CN show Codename: Kids Next Door). Seriously, I'm convinced that these characters are all just part of the same alien hivemind that replaced the HP protagonists with these...things.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 06:04 am (UTC)
And what happens is exactly what you think happens. I remember it from when it was discussed on TVTropes, back when Hogwarts Exposed still had a page, and knew what was coming as soon as I saw the chapter title.

Oh man, those were the days. I missed that page.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC)
Jamie’s body stiffened

because she suddenly died. The End.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 06:11 am (UTC)
What hell would be released upon the world if, in fact, Salazar Slytherin actually were reincarnated?

Resurrected, you mean.

I'd be highly amused if they "reincarnated" Slytherin instead, and he turned out to be a really nice guy who proceeded to lay waste to the villains.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 06:12 am (UTC)
She knew immediately what she wanted for dinner. So anyway, we get a flashback.

I'm guessing you're getting all the nipple references as you can out before Hooch dies?
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 06:15 am (UTC)
It’s not a sexy or a pretty picture, but rather gross, almost deformed in appearance.

Okay, Neil, sure. I'd sooner feast on my own balls than believe that tripe...
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 07:44 am (UTC)
"Howled" as a dialogue tag doesn't say "don't fuck with this person", unless they're a werewolf.

No kidding. If anything, howl as a dialogue tag is oftentimes used for comedic pain or something of that nature. So Neil is, once again, shooting himself in the foot with his Said Bookisms...
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 07:48 am (UTC)
Why Jamie, Caitlin and Emily were missing was supposed to be a complete secret, so, naturally the whole school knew about it.

T_T

Fuck you, Neil.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 07:50 am (UTC)
The first of what I hope will be many such events that will strengthen our binds with our American cousins.

PLOT TWIST: They're all nudists!
szaleniec1000
Jul. 26th, 2014 11:55 am (UTC)
At least one of them is.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
The Americans are coming!

Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 07:56 am (UTC)
Why didn't they just Floo? It'd have been much easier, and you wouldn't have had to make the Hogwarts Express run at midnight on a day it doesn't run.

At least it's keeping in continuity with the Neilverse, where the Express is available on a whim...
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 08:02 am (UTC)
Jamie clutched Ben to her chest and tried to shield him by turning as best as possible toward the wall.

Wasn't she chained to the wall? How does she have her hands free enough to hold him?
szaleniec1000
Jul. 26th, 2014 11:57 am (UTC)
Only her legs are tied so she can hold him.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 27th, 2014 03:29 am (UTC)
...why? Why in the FUCK should these villains suddenly give a damn about this!?
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
Damien was being uncharacteristically gentle. She had expected him to sadistically slash her arm, but instead he had only pricked it enough to cause bleeding.

Lampshading this stupid inconsistency isn't going to help, Neil!
szaleniec1000
Jul. 26th, 2014 11:58 am (UTC)
There was an actual point but he neglected to include it in the story.
Jeremiah Smith
Jul. 26th, 2014 08:05 am (UTC)
Well, of course. The fic is subtitled "Salazar's Return": it'd be a little bit off if Salazar didn't, at some stage, return. Though if this had just been some random dead wizard who had no idea why these people thought he was Slytherin, that might actually have been funny.

Oh my GOD! Just think of how awesome and hilarious it would have been if this all turned out to be a homage to Life of Brian?
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

Dark Dungeons: play a ninja
szaleniec1000
Red Pen Reviews
Website

Latest Month

November 2014
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Tags

Locations of visitors to this page

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow