Reviews For A Life Unsettled
I hope you update soon, because I'm really enjoying this one.
Author's Response: I'm thinking I'll update in a couple of days. I have the next chapter written but was waiting for my two betas to get back to me. Only one out of the three did. Oh well, look for another chapter soon.
Still I have one question (and a comment): You write in your note that you've picked Norwegian names for the people at Durmstrang, yet so far I've to find even one name that's remotely sounding Norwegian. I happen to know Norwegian and lived there for about two years... Printzhof sounds rather Swedish, I have to admit, but as far as I know, it's the name of some district in Pennsylvania named after a swedish immigrant. It doesn't really bother me, but I love Norway and I expected to read about real Norwegian sites and names when you revealed that you'd put them to school there... So I'd like it if you put in some really Norwegian stuff like names or maybe dishes, traditions etc.
And, one other thing or rather comment: from what I gathered from some of your comments to some of the reviews, you're considering to put in Christian themes. I'm not opposed to Christianity - don't get me wrong, but please, please don't destroy your nice fic with something so out of place in it! I don't mind Sev having a bible in his bedroom, and I don't mind Harry being the forgiving soul that he is (though that's just an integral part of his nature, not due to religion, because he's never been in contact with Christianity at all! And don't make me believe that the Dursleys got him in contact with it - that's just as unlikely as Christmas an Easter happening on the same day).
But Sev certainly isn't the forgiving type like Harry! His behaviour throughout both canon and the biggest part of your own universe shows him as being vengeful, resentful and unforgiving going even so far as to punish a son for the deads of his father (and hating said child even after it is revealed that he is in fact the father himself!!!) - that's so far removed from Christian behaviour that it would make the whole story completely unbelievable and inconsistent! Snape might possess a Bible, but he is hardly a Christian at this point and I doubt it's in his nature to become one either. It is hard to reconcile with the fast changes in him as it is - please don't make it even harder by making him a believer - it might just cost you many a reader. And that would be a pity, because I for one am very anxious to learn more about Durmstrang and Harry's future! So, stay true to your plot and refrain from going into the religious direction. Just because you believe what you do doesn't necessarily have to lead to your characters suddenly turning that way as well. I respect your convictions and I agree with the need to rather forgive than to seek revenge, but I might just disagree at the notion of forgetting as well! I honestly doubt that one can forget certain traumas and violations, and I don't think it's necessary either! Forgiving as an active way of dealing with a situation, forgetting might just lead to things being only suppressed and continuing to fester subconciously. For the most part, forgetting grave injustices isn't honestly possible but just means that you pretend that they didn't happen (thus they'll continue to hurt you maybe without you even knowing). To me, it's like lying to yourself and others. Forgiving on the other hand means that you know what happened and still have decided to give the offender (and thus yourself!) a new and honest chance. But that's just my humble opinion and life experience, so I wont claim it to be an universal truth... Thanks for sharing the story with us so far - I hope to read many nice chapters in the near future!
Wow, that's a lot to answer, lol. Let's start with the Norwegian names first. Some of the names are Norwegian, some are Sweedish, some are Bulgarian or even Russian. I took names from many countries that I believe would attend Durmstrang. Russian and Bulgarian mainly because of Viktor Krum, who was a Bulgarian Seeker, and Sweedish because Sweeden and Norway sit next to each other, just as Scottland and England sit next to each other and students and staff from both as well as Ireland are all mixed together at Hogwarts. The names I did choose were chosen because of their ease to say and remember by readers.
As far as the culture of Norway, I have researched it as well as Sweedish culture, and plan on having a mix of both. I have never been to either one and don't pretend to be an expert on either, so what comes into my story will be from my research online. Some of this will be explained in the story of course in later chapters as Harry and Draco ask questions and seek answers about this strange new culture that they've entered.
As for Printzhof, I chose a fake name (Yes Sweedish) because I can't see Durmstrang sitting beside a well known city or town in Norway, just as JK Rowling chose to make up Hogsmeade instead of sitting Hogwarts outside of London or some other known city.
As for Severus being Christian: Christians are human beings and like all people, religious or not, have faults and do not always follow the word of God. I know many Christians who have a hard time forgiving, or who can be just as vindictive and unpleasant as some of the athiests I know (some of both in my family included). Part of being Christian means admitting that you're human and that you can't ever be perfect and need God's help to get to Heaven because you haven't a hope to get there on your own. I wasn't planning on making religion a vital part of the story, but I had had a request to include a scripture in the story (at which point I was going to do so as a quote at the beginning of a chapter). I'm sorry if you feel the need to stop reading because of Severus' Christianity, even though it has really not been mentioned too much in the story up to this point, but I often see other stories here at P&S and other HP fansites encorporating pagan and other religions into their stories as a part of their characters thoughts and feelings, and I see no wrong in doing so here with Christianity.
Just one more thought before I leave off here. I have had some grevious slights done against me and they have hurt terribly, but I have truly found that forgiving and then forgetting (in other words not thinking about them, not bringing it up, and not remembering) has not hurt me in any way, and has lifted burdens off of my shoulders. I grew up Athiest and grew up carrying around the hurt of past offenses and not forgiving people, and am determined now not to live that way any longer because I know what it feels like to be able to let go of something now. I think that's something Harry knows and wants to feel. He doesn't want to continue walking around feeling old hurts from the Dursleys or his friends. He knows how Ron is, and accepting his friendship once again is not forgetting how Ron is, just acknowledging that he is that way and accepting it.
Thank you for your review, it gives some good insight. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Way, way too self-indulgent.
Author's Response: I'm always open to constructive criticism in my writing, so can you please explain to me in what ways it is self indulgent?
Hogwarts=bad with poor program/Durmstrang = super school. Snape went from hateful to loving with no problems.
Is this is an alt universe? because Durmstrang was in the Carpathian Mnts I believe and had a Dark Arts curriculum and now it seems to be the advanced institute of magic. Again, the writing is really, really good, so is the story if I don't thing about the Potterverse and give the characters different names. I guess I am just having a hard time getting it all to fit in the time line.
No worries about being harsh, constructive criticism is what the reviews are for. I'm sorry that it feels black and white to you. I had Harry and Draco make up because I don't want Ron to be the bad guy, and we will see him again in this story, even after the boys have gone to Durmstrang. Also, I in no way mean to put Hogwarts down because I considder it a good school in the Potter Universe, but there is no reason that Durmstrang cant also be a good school in a different way. They still teach Dark Arts, which is something Harry is going to have issues with in a future chapter, and where he will also conflict with Snape (as most children do with their parents).
During my research about Durmstrang, JK said it was in a mountainous region in Norway or Sweden, so I picked a mountainous spot on the map in Norway. There is also reason to believe it sits on an large lake or the sea because Durmstrang came to Hogwarts by boat.
Considder giving the story a chance for a while longer, and you may find that it all fits after all.
Thank you for the constructive criticism.
Powered by eFiction 3.5