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Bobsama posted a comment on Sunday 2nd November 2014 8:47am for From the notes: The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter [SPOILERS]

Ok. First time reading this all through. Started a few days back--this is certainly epic-length, especially at >500K words and understandably unfinished. There were a fair few unresolved plots in all this, mostly going back to the earliest chapters. Aspects like Sirius's will (and the contracts) seemed to be a bigger deal for Hermione & Harry, but fell by the wayside quite quickly. While it's understandable that contracts on minors weren't binding, Hermione made it a point to honor the contract even after it was withdrawn. And Ginny still wrought the consequences of the contract after cursing Sirius's name.

Aside from those original premises, it's hard to remember much in the way of mistakes. It's certainly a thrilling tale, engaging and dramatic. I wasn't always a fan of how busy things always were (having 5 chapters cover 5 days or the like). Same goes for the occlumency/legilimency bits, as they were alluded to (probably conciously) but then dumped after Harry gets reasonably good at occlumency. Same goes for Heather Magraver--I'd have liked to hear more from her even if just in correspondence. Attached to that arc would be Lockhart's future actions, as MacLeish essentially allowed him to destroy a prize asset of his company. His and Covelli's daughter as well--a one-time point but cirumstances never developed it further. I did like how you wrote it overall, as MacLeish is strong-minded and playing his own hand...

Next up, I do like how you, at least in a large way, pulled Hermione back from darkness. It's rare that it's Hermione or one of Harry's friends that go dark, especially when the others don't follow them. The very same, the bit with Snape continuing a role is tough--a spider under the bed if you will. After dismissal, he's invisible until he's apparently teaching Hermione to duel.

Much of this could/would have been contineud, I'm sure, if you hadn't read HBP/DH. I made it a point of reading HBP with one eyebrow raised and put aside DH when Ron was readmitted to the horcrux hunt. Things got too strange for me, so I cherished PS through OotP. JK Rowling has vindicated the Harry/Hermione pairing and, with that, I think discounted those last two books. That leaves me to fanfiction, such as this incomplete masterpiece. You left many possibilities for continuation, but I'm not up to the task and, unfortunately, even the plot outlines are too foreign (not something I could imagine more than a few thousand words for). I do wonder if there's been derivatives from other authors, however. Perhaps you know of some?

Full_Pensieve replied:

Thank you for the very thoughtful review - and thank you for your persistence in reading this mess from front to back, lol.  First, I'd have to say that all of your criticisms are spot-on.  Many of them are rooted in the fact that Years of Rebellion was written in several bursts, with a fair bit of time elapsed between each.  

Chapters 1 through 18 as they exist here at FFA were the first burst; the original versions were completed between August 2003 and January 2004.  They've been revised twice since then, but not in a deeply substantive fashion.  Chapters 19 through 27 were written between May 2004 and October 2004, and chapters 28 and 29 between March and June of 2005.  These have been revised three times, once rather substantively.  The Intermezzos were written in their entirety between late November 2004 and early January 2005.  They have been revised once.

And then came Half-Blood Prince.  Urgh.

I had - and still have - an outline through to the end, and had a substantially more detailed treatment encompassing what is now Chapter 32 through somewhat beyond Chapter 45 when HBP was released.  It took me about two months to recover from that, at which point I started drafting The Last Horcrux.  At the same time, I embarked on Chapters 32 through 42, which were completed between September 2005 and June 2006.  I started releasing The Last Horcrux in late 2006, and had released what is now Chapters 1 through 13 of that fic, plus a different ending, in July 2007.

And then came Deathly Hallows.  Urgh.  URGH. :)

It took me about two months to recover from that as well.  Years of Rebellion Chapters 43 through 45 were completed - somewhat begrudgingly - over the next year or so.  That's the point at which some of the aforementioned revisions started.  I came back and finished The Last Horcrux in 2011 and 2012.

Maintaining continuity of several hundred thousand words over several years is not for the faint of heart.  HBP and DH are two big reasons why I haven't succeeded in picking up Years of Rebellion again.  However, the biggest is the sheer difficulty of picking up the beast again more than a decade after the start of it.  I was in my mid-30s when I started writing.  I can now stand on a phone book and see 50 looming in the distance.  I'm neither the same person nor living in the same world as when I began.  In between are three major bouts of chronic illness, a rather spectacular divorce, the Great Recession, two major moves, a son grown from toddlerhood to high school, the advent of social media and wireless technology as we know it, two HP books, and four HP films.   In addition to having HBP and DH in every reader's mind, I also have to deal with the indisputable fact that several of the things I incorporated in YoR have gone from being innovative (and in a couple of cases, unique) at the time they were written to being almost-reviled cliches today.  The differences along the way are visible in the text as it stands.  Years of Rebellion from Chapter 39 or thereabout reads rather differently than my prior work; it has more in common stylistically with the first half of The Last Horcrux than the preceding chapters of YoR.

To finish, I would almost have to start over, and I doubt I have that in me.  It would be hard to completely ignore HBP and DH, and no doubt the trolls of the fanfic world would insist that I incorporate details from Pottermore and such. (As I dislike the site from a user perspective, that's highly unlikely.)  I'll certainly never commit to revisiting YoR at this point.  If it should ever happen, the product will just appear without warning.   

To my knowledge, no one has ever tried to continue this fic.  If so, I've never been asked nor have I ever provided notes or input. 

Thanks again for the review, and feel free to pose any additional questions or comments as a subsequent review.  I still exist on FF.net, and can be PMed there as "FPyearsofrebellion"

Cheers,

Mike (Full Pensieve)

ginsengh posted a comment on Saturday 7th July 2012 8:41pm for From the notes: The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter [SPOILERS]

I remembered you updating some things a few months ago on the other site so I decided to come take a look here to see if YoR might have received an update. Glad to see that I wasn't disappointed. It may not be the continuation of one of the best stories I've ever read (to include both fan-fiction and published work), but it does at least offer some sort of closure to the events that were never posted.

I'll continue to hope that you find the motiviation to truly finish this story in a way you had originally intended at some point. Until then though I thank you for giving us readers a chance to experience the amazing ride that was YoR.

geeves posted a comment on Thursday 31st May 2012 6:53am for From the notes: The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter [SPOILERS]

FP - good stuff as always. I'm sad that this story may never be finished, but I am happy that The Last Horcrux has seen closure.

@Denya - "At the time you leave the story, Harry as little to no control over the magic he can access when he's angry - did you have any idea how that was going to happen? And presumably it would play a big part in Voldie's defeat."

I think Harry's journey or YoR may be somewhat answered by the "epilogue" chapters of The Last Horcrux. In YoR Harry's an uncontrolled / undisciplined mess fueled by anger, guilt and pain that enhances his usage of magic and sends him on a journey of self-discovery and knowledge as to what has happened to him and how he can tool it to defeat Voldemort. In support Hermione is trying to discover what happened on the night of Godric's Hollow and if I remember correctly it was a very rune & arithmacy-based research.

In The Last Horcrux, without spoiling I hope, Harry's journey is a pursuit of knowledge to deal with the aftermath of his final battle with Voldemort to rectify what happens to him. Harry goes on the same journey as Voldemort did (in cannon) in pursuit of knowledge and magic though in the opposite direction. He also takes on Hermione's project from YoR inadvertantly (though I'm sure there would be some differences) about what happened at Godric's Hollow.

Full_Pensieve replied:

Significant differences, actually.  There are no horcruces in Years of Rebellion, period.  The story as it stands was outlined weeks after the publication of Order of the Phoenix and mostly written before the publication of Half Blood Prince. 

As such, it was created in the midst of enormous fan speculation about the nature of Voldemort's continued survival, the meaning of the prophecy and the connection between Voldemort and Harry.  Horcruces bother me on a fundamental level - the Icelandic mages in Last Horcrux speak for my functional and philosophical problems with the concept.

I started by using a then-popular hypothesis as a starting point: the Changeling hypothesis, which was popularized via the Red Hen collection of essays.  There's still a description of it to be had, though the writer has done some post-hoc reconsidering: http://www.redhen-publications.com/changeling.html.  Reading the Red Hen essay won't give you the exact answer re: YoR, but it's a big fat clue. :) 

I was also heavily influenced by the long list of essays presented at the HP Lexicon: http://www.hp-lexicon.org/essays/essay-index.html.  I read all of them through 7/2003 before developing the original outline, and you'll find influences from them through 2006. 

Finally, it's important to know that I saw classical alchemy as an extraordinarily important element in interpreting the Harry Potter series.  As it turned out, it was a modestly useful element in understanding the final canon, but not nearly as consistent a thread as I thought it was.  In YoR, it matters.  A lot.

Take care,

Mike [FP]

lwj2 posted a comment on Friday 18th May 2012 8:26pm for From the notes: The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter [SPOILERS]

I've enjoyed this, I do hope you'll pick it up again.

You've got a scope and depth to this I rarely see, whether in fanfic or in an original work.

Thanks for writing and sharing this.

amsev posted a comment on Wednesday 18th April 2012 9:26pm for From the notes: The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter [SPOILERS]

Awesome is a pale and anemic word to describe this story. I hope you do, upon occasion, update this story, simply because it is very well written and a compelling read.

On the other hand, since you've been laboring over this story since 2003.....

Thank you for writing!

Denya posted a comment on Wednesday 11th April 2012 5:26am for From the notes: The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter [SPOILERS]

Dear Mike (FP),

Seeing you had posted on YoR for the first time in a long time, I went back and re-read it. What a fantastic story it is! Plots & sub-plots. All kinds of interesting magic making - from the idea of 13 (Hero & companions); to the 'compact families & old magic; to Hermione's project (which will turn the Wizarding world upside down); to whatever is up with Detheridge; to the 'Hebrew' magics; to the use of Dreaming in healing... I could go on.

I won't ask if you're planning more posts of notes, since it's a bit silly to ask in a review... But I will say that something I both love to read and admire from an author of an abandoned piece (especially something as fine as this one) is an idea of where they were going with the loose ends.

Things I'd love to know (or at least have an idea of where you going):

At the time you leave the story, Harry as little to no control over the magic he can access when he's angry - did you have any idea how that was going to happen? And presumably it would play a big part in Voldie's defeat.

What *is* the result of Hermione's project?

What further role did you have in mind for the Goblins? Especially Hermione being Saataja?

Obviously, from the most recent post, whatever Harry & Heather had is gone, in favour of Hermione. Does Heather heal? Does she recover that magical voice of hers?

Did you have any idea of how the 'old magics' will play into the story. (I love the whole MacIlvane connection - and Harry's response to the betrothal contract).

What happens to Nicola? Does Harry take over her care? (She has to live in a very expensive prision - so who else). By the by, I also loved her character... And found it a believable explanation for why Covelli & McLeash would split.

Who is the mad butcher? (I'm sure you had someone in mind).

What is the curse that the old-old crowd is talking about? (Again, I'm sure you had something in mind). I also loved the overheard conversation - the idea that each of them had some elixer of life as a gift from Flamel - and the endless bickering with Croaker. de M is just an inspired character!

What *is* going on with Detheridge?

Did you have an idea of who the complete 'Knights of St. Peter' would be? Did you plan on his teachers (Bill, Tonks, Shaklebolt, Flitwick) being part of it, or part of the last battle, or not at all? The same question for the old-old crowd - de M makes it clear this is his last fight, which implies he plans to be part of it, but obviously not part of Harry's 13.

I think all the questions give you an idea of just how enthralled I was with the story. It's just brilliant. Thank you for writing it and sharing it.

I suppose, to be fair, I should add some "constructive criticism". My least favourite bit was Lockheart's obliviation of Heather. That really felt like a deus ex machina solution for the basic conflict through the first - well many - chapters. Harry has something real with Heather. He develops something real with Hermione. But the two girls give him very different things - and not just love vs. lust. Heather can understand the pressures of fame at a young age - the isolation involved, the madness of press, fans, manipulators. She also has a similar childhood in many ways. I won't go into what Hermione gives him - that's pretty obvious. But I think just taking Heather out of the conflict via Lockheart and her no long being/remembering herself was a bit too easy.

In any case, I loved the story on re-read... And if you wanted to post some of those answers, I would love it.

Again, thanks for writing!

Denya

DenyaEva@gmail.com