There were hands stroking his hair. Gentle hands, combing their fingers back from his forehead in soothing, rhythmic passes as his head lay cradled against something warm and soft.
Ginny: Oh God, here we GO again…
Neville opened his eyes, blinking uncertainly as Luna’s pale, heart-shaped face came into focus above him. There were dark circles of exhaustion under the large blue eyes, but there was an oddly secretive little smile on her lips that grew a bit as their gazes met.
Luna: *blinks* Well…I’d say..that’s a bit…odd…there.
Ginny: *pats her shoulder sympathetically*
Luna: *mumbles* Wrackspurts. Must be wrackspurts…
Ginny: I feel sorry for you, but at least it’s not me this time!
He heard movement nearby, a rustling of leaves and twigs, and he suddenly realized that they were outside. The forest. The Forbidden Forest. It all came back in a rush, and he sat bolt upright off of Luna’s lap,
Luna: *is mumbling more frantically now* Wrackspurts in my lap…
Ron: Guys, this fic is starting to unnerve Luna Lovegood. I think we should be afraid.
Neville: I passed afraid a long time ago. Now I just can’t feel anything. the monstrous creatures that had been attacking them were gone.
Luna: I’d imagine, or they’d all be quite dead. Instead, they seemed to be inside a strange domed structure of some kind. It was about the size of a large tent, without windows or doors of any kind, the walls and ceiling tightly woven in a wild, haphazard snarl of what he gradually realized were living thorn briars, still deeply rooted in the soil on all sides of them.
Harry: So you’re superpower is tent-making, Neville? Suddenly the power of love doesn’t look so bad, eh!
<snip so boring> “Did I –“ he motioned around at the bizarre shelter, “Did I do this?”
Ginny: Of course. Don’t you do everything important? Luna and I thought it was over. I’d decided to jump, take the spiders over the wolves
Ron: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.
I thought it would be over quicker –
Ron: Ginny, have I taught you nothing? The spiders would be much slower! They’re talkers, believe me. *shudders*
Luna: Yes, and spiders are notorious for webbing their prey up and devouring them slowly..
Luna- whereas werewolves are violent and would be likely to rip you apart rather quickly.
Harry: Yeah, werewolves have teeth, spider have pincers. Which do YOU think kills quicker?
Ron: *is rocking back and forth in his chair now*
but then you…you grabbed the briars, and they started growing, just shooting up so fast and thick…and then you opened your eyes, and there was this light pouring out of them, and I had to look away it was so bright,
Ginny: *mockingly* Like a wingless angel. she shook her head, as if still not quite believing her own memory. “The next thing we knew, the briars had wrapped over us and knotted together into this place, and it just kept getting thicker and thicker until you sort of jerked back and collapsed.”
Ron: Collapsing is Harry’s shtick Neville, it’s not polite to steal it!
<And so a bunch of briars kept the werewolves out, and they were saved- unfortunately they missed the cool werewolf-versus-acromantula caged death match but you can’t have everything in life>
He shook his head as if trying to dispel a dream. “I don’t even know what spell would do this if I meant to!”
She shrugged. “You’ve always been good with plants, Neville.
Neville: I’m good in Herbology, so therefore I have plant based superpowers?
Ginny: Apparently. And you’ve been hiding them all this time, you dog.
Neville: It certainly would have been useful with the gardening? *whips out Mimbulus Mimbletonia* I could make this grow…with my mind!
Harry: You still HAVE that thing?
Neville: *is offended* Robert is not a THING, thank you.
Luna: *waves spoon to no effect* Robert probably likes his size the way it is, I imagine.
Neville: That’s true, I shouldn’t be trying to change my plants. They’re beautiful the way they are. *puts Robert away*
* Everyone but Luna stares at him*
...What? I think you reached out towards where your strength lies instinctively, and they just responded to what you needed…something to keep those –“ a little shudder went through her, “—those things away from us.”
Ginny: He found his inner beanstalk and saved us all.
“Just because I get high marks in Herbology doesn’t mean….”
Neville: Of course it means everything! Good grades mean superpowers!
Ron: Hermione is living proof! He trailed off. One of the vines had untangled itself from the wall and reached out towards him, brushing over his hand like a dog sniffing its owner
Neville: *strokes Robert* Shhh, don’t be jealous.
<Shelter dissolves, spider and wolf remains surround them..also ichor? The blood of the gods? Did Wonder Woman stop by here or something? Oh, it’s probably the thin watery discharge version. Ew, where’d that come from? Other than thanfiction is showing off his thesaurus, I guess.>
His eyes fell on a hand that lay half-buried in the leaves, the fingers slightly gnawed, but still recognizable as having belonged to a young woman, the nails filthy and long, the palm callused, yet still as dainty as the hands that had coaxed him awake.
Ginny: OH MY GOD JUST KILL ME NOW.
Neville looked back at his two friends. Hate and disgust at the wanton savagery was clearly twisted into Ginny’s face <snip>
Ginny: Clearly I just heard Neville’s thoughts. He felt horrified and slightly ashamed as he thought of what the night must have been like for them, huddled together beneath their shield next to his own unconscious body as this battle raged mere feet away. For all their beauty and the delicacy of their bodies, they were both so strong, so brave in their own very different ways, and he was filled with a new respect for them.
Ginny: I…I’m trying not to vomit Harry…but it’s really hard…
Harry: Don’t worry…I’m having a bit…of trouble myself…
Neville: We…all are…
Ron: He’s seen you two face down Death Eaters, climb walls, seen Luna look bored in the face of danger, had his arse saved by you and seen Ginny produce the best Bat Bogey Hex on record and he’d just NOW realizing you’re strong and brave? Moron.
Ginny:This is really the limit. I can’t take anymore of Luna and me being delicate and “beautiful”…but still vaguely useful because we tended to our man… I truly can’t..
Luna: Well, honestly, I believe this version of Neville’s simply projecting. Really, he’s as dainty and delicate as the smallest girl, which is why he constantly describes girls as being so frail and beauteous, and constantly boasts about being so muscular. In reality, he’s trapped in a sad delusion. It’s a common affliction, probably bought on by Pubiscious Pusceants.
Ginny: Thanks., Luna, that actually helps a bit.
<stuff and then Ginny decides to confess something> “No.” She shook her head, then resumed walking, using the obstacles to avoid his eyes. “But when we were in the office, Dumbledore wanted to talk to me.”
Nevermore: Here it comes, guys. He nodded . “I remember. I assumed it was about Harry or Ron.”
Ron: Like anything could ever be about us in this fic! It’s all about YOU, Neville!
<Ginny Captain Obvious Weasley tells us how Dumbles said Harry might not make it outta this alive> “Then he said –“ she went on as if he had said nothing, “—that I needed to watch out for you in case Harry failed.”
Harry: Oh, I feel so special.
Neville: Honestly, if Harry fails, Ginny needs to watch out for everyone. In the world. “Watch out for me?” he asked bemusedly. “Neville, there were two of you.” Ginny grabbed his arm, and he stopped, shocked by the intensity of her blazing look. “The prophecy…Snape heard it, he told the Death Eaters all those years ago, and it was about both of you. You and Harry. You-Know-Who chose Harry, but that’s why they went after your family, because he could just as easily chosen you.”
Neville: Yeah, this is true. Too bad it doesn’t matter or anything, since Voldemort ended up making sure Harry was the Chosen One.
<snip> She nodded, and now her eyes held only a deep, sorrowful sympathy. “You’re the backup plan, Neville. It’s why Dumbledore let you just flounder, so no one would suspect.
Neville: Or, er, it could be… because Voldemort wasn’t after me and I don’t have a piece of his soul stuck in me? If Harry fails, you’re the only other one who can kill You-Know-Who,
Neville: …except not? because Dumbledore said ‘only to give one’s self and soul can be a sacrifice as great and powerful as the gift of a life, and that gives him a strength and protection almost equal to Harry if he is willing to use it.’”
Neville: So my parent’s being tortured…gave me the ability to…grow plants…really fast?
Harry:And all I got was a love shield that got taken away!
Ginny: Did your Mum stand in front of you and say "Take Neville, not me?" Because if all she did is hide you in a closet…I don’t think the sacrifice works that way at all.
Luna: Well, nevertheless, now you can plant Voldemort to death! That should be an interesting final battle! Ginny swallowed hard, looking away now. “I didn’t believe it. I’m sorry. I knew you had guts, but your magic’s been pretty weak, honestly.
Harry: Whereas I’ve always been know for my astounding feats of magic and ability to make plants into tents, thus I am worthy to defeat Voldemort.
I thought he was trying to make me feel better, you know, not feel like everything was riding on Harry and them. But last night…I think it really might be true.”
Harry: I really missed out on the plant growing step ofbeing the Chosen One. That explains all those difficulties. Slowly, Neville sank down to the damp leaves of the forest floor, his legs no longer able to support him.
Ginny: Take a break in the middle of the Forbidden Forest, that’s smart.
<blablabla Neville!Angst> and if he was supposed to be some great hero, shouldn’t leadership come easily
Neville: But it does for me, in this fic! One day, bottom of the school food chain, next day, everyone loves me and will follow me to hell and back!
Where have you hidden the other one?!…Tell us what it is!…What does your brat have in common with the Potter creature that could possibly harm my Master?!…We know the prophecy, Longbottom, we know there were two…we know there were two…we know there were two…we know there were two….
Harry: He remembers all that from when he was one? I needed Dementors to remember even that much! Also, how does Bellatrix know about the prophecy? Voldemort kept that pretty hush-hush.
<ANGST!> Luna knelt on the ground in front of him, gently pulling his hands away from his face to meet his eyes with her serene, sky-blue gaze. “You can. You found what you’re really capable of last night, the magic that’s always been there, and it’s still there. I can feel it.
Luna: Oooh, I can? Oh no, he probably means in the sexual sense…
Ginny: Can you feeeeel it… She reached down into her sock and pulled out a faded chocolate frog card, the wrinkled picture barely recognizable as the wizard Nigel Gamp. “I still have the last thing my mother gave me, even if it’s silly. Don’t throw away what your parents gave you.”
Neville: Okay, Luna. I will use those Droobles Best Blowing Gum wrappers to save mankind.
“But, Luna, I’m scared.” He made no effort to conceal the tremor in his voice. “Harry’s not afraid of You-Know-Who. I am.”
Ginny: No macho-posturing for once? Shocking!
“Nonsense. Harry’s terrified of him.”
Harry: Well, he certainly gives me the willies, what with the nightmares and the death and all. Ginny tossed her tangled red hair, “He just knows what he has to do. The question isn’t if you can, Neville. Dumbledore knows you can. The question is what you will do. Are you going to disband the D.A. and run off to hide somewhere, or are you going to keep fighting and be ready to take this as far as it has to go, whatever that means?”
Ginny: WILL THEY GO ALL THE WAY?
Neville: Ginny, you are crossing a line.
<inspirational montage of friends in Neville’s head>
“I’ll do it, then.”
Ginny: See, Neville, you agreed.
Neville: Not listening! Getting to his feet, Neville brushed the leaves from his knees, and stood, a wry smile on his lips. “But I’m going to be rooting for Harry like you wouldn’t believe.”
Harry: It’s nice to feel loved. For once. Ginny grinned back at him, but there was relief in her eyes. “That makes…well, all of us, I think.” With a quick squeeze of his shoulder, she set off again through the forest. “Now come on, I want my damned wand back!”
Ginny: Ohhh, the places I could go…
Neville: But you WON’T.
“…as you already know, which, although severe, we felt to be appropriate given the extreme nature of their infraction. However, it is with the deepest regret that I must inform you that someone did not feel the same way. Our gamekeeper believed that a month was too much, and last night, he abused the privilege of the keys which his position allowed him, and attempted to release Mr. Longbottom and his companions. They were last seen being taken by him into the Forbidden Forest, presumably to hide. However, they became separated…” Snape’s voice sounded clearly through the double doors into the entry hall as Neville pushed open the front doors of the castle.
Harry: That’s the dumbest lie I’ve ever heard. Snape could come up with a better lie than that. If this thing bore any resemblance to Snape and wasn’t just Random Psycho #75647 He had wondered why no one had come to greet them, but now he saw a black swag of cloth hung over the Hogwarts banner, and the three of them exchanged a look as Snape’s speech echoed into the chamber. Ginny’s cheeks flushed. “He thinks we’re dead, and he’s trying to blame it on Hagrid!”
Ginny: And I agree to naming my kid after this guy? Does the author seriously think that little of me?
Neville felt a mischievous smile begin to spread slowly over his face, and he made a show of brushing off his sleeves, though the cloth hung in tatters and crackled with blood, dirt and sweat. “Then I think a correction is in order. Ladies first?”
Ginny gave a haughty sniff, her own brown eyes sparkling. “Mr. Longbottom, didn’t your grandmother teach you a gentleman always opens the door?”
Ginny: I hate people opening doors for me or helping me into doors. This is an established fact.
Harry: It’s true. That’s one rule about a healthy relationship with Ginny, no door opening. One time she visited my office and I tried to tell her I had to open the door for her or the alarm would go off but she yelled at meand WRENCHED it open herself and then, well…
Ginny: You promised to never repeat that story!\
Harry: Er, perhaps I’ll finish it later…
<snip GRAND ENTRANCE>
Then, at the Gryffindor table, a gangly, sandy-haired boy stood, and Seamus stepped out into the aisle as he drew his wand, raising it in front of him and then snapping it neatly to lay diagonally across his chest. “Gryffindors!“ His voice rang out, crisply disciplined even as his eyes burned with elation, “Salute!”
Neville: Merlin, not this military rubbish again… within moments, all three houses were arrayed in a half-dozen lines as precise as a military parade in a show of honor and defiance that made Neville’s breath catch in his throat
Harry: WHERE DID THEY SEE ALL THIS MILITARY STUFF?They’re not Muggles!
Then another figure stood. For the first time since the doors had opened, all eyes turned away from Neville and his two companions. A stocky boy with a shock of chestnut hair was standing at the Slytherin table,
Neville: …. his own wand raised in a salute that mirrored that of the other three houses as his fellows stared at him in a mixture of disbelieving shock and open horror. He did not flinch, but rather regarded them with open disdain. “My father is a Death Eater,” he announced boldly, “and he has told me the Dark Lord values courage. I share those values, don’t you?”
Neville: This just got unreal. Even Death Eaters children worship me. Everyone capitulates to my doppelgangers excellence. It couldn’t get worse.
Silence met his words at first, then to Neville’s amazement, Gregory Goyle stood, raising his own wand and crossing it over his barrel-like chest, his piggy little eyes fixed on Neville.
Ginny: …it just did.
Ron: IS THIS OPPOSITE PLANET?
Ginny: And notice Neville is the one being worshipped here. Everyone automatically assumes Neville did all the amazing stuff and Luna and I did nothing. Which we did, because this fic is rubbish. “I don’ like you none,” he announced in a voice that was surprisingly soft for such a massive youth. “But Professor Snape says there’s werewolves and all sorts of monsters out there, and I reckon if you faced ‘em wandless, that’s sumthin.’”
Harry: …LIKE GOYLE WOULD CARE. Neville could wrestle a dragon, and Crabbe and Goyle would still never so much as wave at him.
Ron: Seriously, how many amazing things has Harry done? And do we ever seen Slytherin table give HIM a standing ovation? Nevemore: The difference, ladies and gentlemen…Harry is not a Gary Stu who all bow down to and despair. Slowly, reluctantly, Slytherins began to stand, first in twos and threes, and then more, until the entire table was on their feet and had joined the salute.
Harry: Yes, it just gets worse.
Neville was speechless, but beside him, he heard Luna’s almost inaudible murmur. “…for our Hogwarts is in danger from external deadly foes, and we must unite against them, or we’ll crumble from within
Ginny: Unite against them equals “slobber at Faux!Neville’s feet” in Opposite Planet.
Filled with a new sense of hope and purpose, Neville drew back his shoulders and raised his chin as he stared up the aisle at Snape, who stood quivering in silent rage at the sight of his entire school united to honor the three students he had thought disposed of for good.
Harry: Eh, he wouldn’t care.
He held out one hand towards the Headmaster, his voice ringing clear and strong through the Great Hall. “We had a deal. I want my wand back.”
Ron: Yeah, it’s been missing this whole fic.
Ginny: It’s over? It’s over! THANK MERLIN THAT’S OVER. That was the worst yet!
Luna: Well, at least I got this spoon. *wanders off*
Ginny: C’mon, Harry, let’s make sweet love until we forget all about this.
Harry: Sounds good to me. *brings sandwich*
Neville: And the "too much information train" keeps on rolling…
Ron: I’m going to argue with Hermione! The recreation will take my mind off your doppelganger getting handsy with my sister, Neville. Oh, the horror…
Neville: To recap once again, Professor Lupin is lucky that Fenrir Greyback is the dumbest Death Eater in existence, my parents getting tortured gives me the ability to make plants into BriarDomes, Luna and Ginny are still so delicate I can’t stand it, Snape is such a cardboard villain they recycled him by mistake and even the Slytherins bow down to my amazing macho powers. And this is the worst thing ever. Now if you excuse me, I and Robert need to be alone. *stomps off*
Nevermore: So there you have it, guys. The Sue-per powers that make no sense, and groveling Slytherins to boot…and we still have NINETEENCHAPTERS TO GO!
It's pretty obvious to me the only reason he and others say it's "canon-consistent" is to try and puff up the fic as *THE* gold standard of Neville-POV Deathly Hallows fics anywhere.
Which, if you read about the kinds of atrocities performed even just so far, just don't match up with DH canon. I mean, just take the whole Forbidden Forest thing. Rumor got around the school super-fast, according to thanfiction's version of events - who wouldn't send a message home to the parents?
One kid writing a letter and nipping down to Hogsmeade to send it off is all it'd take, and before long most parents might end up hearing about it, and even if they didn't dare refer to the 'official' reason for withdrawing their kid from school, I highly suspect a suddenly very contagious episode of spattergroit would mysteriously keep many of the students home from school.
Pretty much. He tried to kill Neville's toad that one time, you know. Clearly this means he is blackly evil and wants to murder all the students and bring in Nazi torturer people for the lulz. (No, srsly, Neville says this a a justification for all the murderous!Snape going on.) By the way, I just realized Trevor isn't in the entire fic. Maybe Snape finally did the dirty deed off screen. "haha Longbottom! No Granger in my way this time!"
Wait a minute, isn't there an anviliciously named character that comes in and experiments on the kids in the middle of DAYD somewhere? I read the TV Tropes page about DAYD and remembered this. Torture porn isn't complete without as many overt references to Naziism as one can get, it seems.
Yep. Professor "Hans Belsen". COMplete with a super thick German accent.
I mean, they could have just said he was one of Grindelwald's torturers and we could have gotten the message. But we needed a huge anvil dropped on our heads! And they say JKR's paralells are unsubtle...XD
Okay, that just made me reread that part and...AAARGH. That has got to be the worst German accent I've ever seen. We DON'T randomly say "ja" and "Herr" when we speak in English. >_< Also, Victor has the same accent and he's Bulgarian. Does this author think that all European languages sound the same?
He was a character from an old American TV show called Hogan's Heroes. A comedy (if you can believe it) about POWs in a Nazi camp during WWII. Col. Klink was bumbling and stupid and easily thwarted. And he spoke with a bad German accent.
I can't even muster the effort to flail uselessly at the very idea that this could have happened in Rowling's version of DH from Neville's perspective.
Really, doesn't thanfiction realize that even compatibility with an EWE version of canon still strains credulity? (Or is that credulousness? Yay the mysteries of the English language and I'm a native speaker/writer for Pete's sake :P )
The entire chapter has been so OTT it's hard to say whether on balance it falls on the so-OTT-it-can't-be-canon side, or the so-OTT-it's-lolarious side. I'd say the last part with the OMG!Military bit is the latter, and the Forbidden Forest bit is the former.
And I absolutely agree that the very oddly unsevere nature of the punishment given to Ginny et al for nicking the sword is what JKR was using to telegraph that maybe Snape was still playing the double-agent game even in DH.
This, and others, are why I do not agree that the DAYD fic, as written, is consistent with canon, no matter how much thanfiction doth protest that it is.
None of the characters even look like they do in canon, let alone act like it. Magic doesn't work the same way -- and do werewolves actually eat people in canon? I thought they were just ultra-violent, not cannibalistic.
You could argue in favor of thanfiction's DAYD fic on the possible adherence to canon by pulling a Snapefen and arguing that Harry is so far removed from being an effective POV character that Snape's memories were particularly calculated to manipulate Harry, and that the true extent of what went on at Hogwarts was hidden from Harry under the exigencies of a confused wartime situation.
However, I just can't believe Ginny would have never told Harry about what truly went on at Hogwarts, in that case.
Given that, I conclude that JK Rowling's telegraphed intent in DH was that even given what the Carrows got up to, Snape was effective at blunting their worst excesses and truly did try to come up with severe-looking punishments that in actual fact did nothing harmful.
It's really weird, because the last chapter makes it clear that everyone told RON all the horrible things Snape did...((Weirdly enough, thanfiction seems to like Ron, he gets the most respect out of anyone in the trio from him) and Ron is like "not cool, man!" so you'd think SOME of it would get back to Harry.
This is the chapter that made me stop reading. I really did love the idea of this fic but this? Too much. And, while I like Snape, I'm not even a Snapewife. This was just ridiculous and seemed to serve no purpose and I got rather defensive on Snape's behalf.
Yeah, it's definitely a good idea. I wish it was done better. One of my friends recc'd be a pretty good Neville POV DH fic to help me out- nowhere near as in depth as this one, only two chapters, but pretty IC and it gave me warm fuzzies:
Thanks! Ha, I just picked the first name that came to my head for Neville's Mimbulus Mimbletonia.
Weirdly enough, I just read the epilogue to DAYD (finally done reading the whole thing instead of just skimming- now I have to reread it when I spork it! Ugh) and the MM shows up there for reals. I was like "...Robert? You invaded the fic?" 0.o
I was recently reading a fic that contained a particularly Stu-ish Harry and it got me thinking? What's the deal with canon Sues and Stus?
To my mind, most fanfiction is, to some degree, a form of wish fulfillment. Writing out something you wish might have happened, or at least thought would have been cool to have happened. So these people who write canon Sues and Stus - I gotta know, do they really think the books would have been better/cooler if the characters were actually like that?
Does thanfiction truly think this characterization of Neville is better than the Neville we all know and love?
I think it's about overindentification. Like Mary Sues are basically wish fufillment on the authors fault, Canon Sues are basically taking the character the author most identifies with and turning them to the authors superpowerful fantasy self.
But it's also about thinking a character wasn't badass/smart/nice/pretty enough and then just going totally over the top to "fix" this. Like how the later chapters go on about how Harry wasn't badass enough- it does seem like thanfiction wants HP to be a grim-and-gritty tale populated with badass soldiers. And like how the author of Rose Potter thought Harry didn't show enough "common sense" and therefore made the character nigh-omnipotent and an omega level genius who walked all over everyone.
What I always find super odd about that kind of thing is how much less awesome it makes the characters. If it all comes easily, where's the emotion and drama? A character who doesn't feel fear, or to whom everything comes easily, is just plain boring. They didn't overcome any real obstacles, everything was just handed to them on a platter, what's badass about that?
I often think it's under-identification with the character, whether in original or fan faction. It's almost like the writer is saying, "I'm not good enough, with all my human foibles, so I'll create this bland, perfect other self, because I can't possibly imagine someone like me having real adventures."