Very sorry to hear about your sister's passing, my sincere and deepest condolences to you and your family. Having lost both parents, and been present when my father died, I can empathize. Deal with all that you have to and we'll be waiting to read further chapters when you can write and post them.
I loved the discussion with Minerva and like the way Albus is being further undermined and his way out greased. I'm certain that his dealings with Sybil and Severus are probably better known by Harry than he suspects (house-elf liberaton provisions - makes for a nice acronym, too). Severus took a chance but Tom is obviously intelligent enough to realize that Severus was right. Tom's musings about new "inner circle" members wer amusing, especially as there were so few candidates he considered worth it.
Rita's article was nicely done and Harry's response to her call for help was very nicely done. I do think Tom's not going to enjoy losing a few more minions within the Ministry, especially not when they are pressing so closely. I'm certain the editor of the Daily Prophet is now looking at the threat in a whole new light; especially when it was a "friend" who damn near got him killed. If Amelia's people "walk back the dog", I suspect they may well identify some other Deeters in the Ministry. That move with the final terrorist in Rita's office was a nice touch and it'll be "educational" to see how Rita gets along with Remus as her guard; especially since she knows he's "taken" and is quite a capable fighter.
Thanks Cat. Fifteen years ago, I watched my wife, Pauline die. As the first officer on the scene, I had to pull her body from a burning wreck. My sister died as quickly, but far more peacefully.
She was brilliant and annoying and I'm going to miss her terribly. five times an hour I see or read something and I think, 'Wow! Marion's gonna love this!' and then, 'Damn!'
There might be an insurance settlement from her work. Her boss told me the company has a policy on all their employees of over a year, and she'd been their for three. If so, we can keep the house(Backtaxes, y'know). If not, well, we'll see what happens.
Now on to the story.
Minerva has decided by now that the deceitful old bastard is pretty much as bad as Voldemort. Harry's diatribe only helps to cement that idea in her mind. While Harry will be informed, by Dobby, Sybil's fate is undecided. I had intended to leave her where she was, as in the death-like sleep, she's the safest one in the castle. If the elves levitate her, she won't even get bed sores. Of course, I can have Harry ask the elves to abscond with her, but he really doesn't need her. She's really of little further use to Dumbledore.
Snape, on the other hands will find himself constantly beset by little problems such as dirty cauldrons, and contaminated supplies. Not to mention Dobby and Peeves, who will both be making regular visits to torment him.
Hermione would love your acronyms!
Yeah, Snape took a serious chance. Voldemort isn't the most stable of people at the best of times. He could have decided that his personal honor was more important than Snape's dedication. As for Snape, his decision was more to further the ideals of purism, than anything else. Still, he got off very lucky.
IMO, none of those mentioned would be worth a damn as inner circle, but it's not like he has much of a choice. His most faithful is dead, his most intelligent is learning how to walk again, his sneakiest is already in the inner circle and the rest are a bunch of hoodlums with a few braincells to rub together.
Every time Voldemort strikes out, he'll draw back a bloody mitt. He may cause damage, but he'll pay for it. If nothing else, that will give people incentive to not join him. On the other hand, Snape has a list of more than a hundred like minded idiots, ready and willing to become terrorists.
Euwings is going to take a hard look at operational security from here on in. Harry will help with expenses, and likely offer to relocate family, but Euwings will have to tell the families why their kin are dead. Sucks, man!
Dawlish's questioning will indeed reveal more Deez within the ministry, but they won't be particularly important to the story. Walk-on's. Anonymous Red-shirts. Crewman number six. The faceless minions of Dr. Evil.
Rita has a decent respect as well as a little bit of attraction for Remus, but where he goes, Tonks goes, and Tonks is possessive as hell. Will Remus need to demonstrate his capabilities? Haven't decided.
Until next time...whenever that is.