Dagnabit, hit the submit button by accident, but that covered the typos that jumped out at me.
I quite enjoyed the whole chapter, from Harry rescuing Arabella (care to bet she tells him everything she knows and gives further testimony as to Albus' mendacious and manipulative ways?), especially while leaving Dumbles totally out of position and control. The scene at the dance was interesting and I suspect Dudley has just risen considerably in the regard of Harry, Carolyn, and a few others who count. I'm quite certain that Severus Snape is nursing a bad attitude toward him, now, also. I'm certain he'll try for him again and I hope he has equally embarrassing or worse results (be amusing if he tried to get the Dursleys at home and ran into those wards; 'twould be such an ironic fate). The giving of Christmas presents to Albus, Severus, VOldemort, and Draco was a nice touch and their 'enjoyment' of their presents was everything one could want (wonder if they'll ever realize just how much damage Harry's elven troops can inflict on them?). The Christmas at Potter Castle was a delight and I'm glad Harry was able to show people so much (those two young kids are clearly going to be watched and, hopefully, recruited down the line) and so much enjoyment; I daresay he & Hermione may well be seeing more of Dudley & Marissa in the future, especially if the latter couple become serious about each other (and wouldn't -that- frost Petunia).
I really can't weep for Fudge, he made his choices and has to abide by the consequences, all of them. I quite suspect Auror Diaz is going to find himself getting a lot more "training time" in the near future. Rita needs to be careful, Harry could consider that an unfriendly act (I doubt he will, but you really don't want to bite the hand protecting you).
As for those Death Eaters who've decided they really want out, that they're not getting at all what they signed up for, they've earned what they're getting and I'm sure they'll e an inspiration to others to be a damn sight more careful in their plotting (old proverb from one of Mack Reynolds' stories, "When three meet to plan revolution, two are fools and one is a police spy").
In conclusion, it looks like Albus, Severus, Tom, and the Malfoys have all suffered "interesting" set-backs and I'm certain there will be more to come. I do like that Harry's not doing it all on his own by a long-shot and has plenty of back-up and support, including in the political arena where he doesn't have experience. It'll be interesting to see how Luna's 'unique methods' work in getting Ron into proper shape and form; I would've thought she'd have needed a beater bat to proper get his attention first.
Heya again, Cat.
Not a problem. happens alla time.
I couldn't leave her there to be 'eliminated' and while Harry pretty much knows what Dumbledore has done, she could have a few heart to hearts with Carolyn. In fact, I have the ending written and I can easily fit that in, between now and then.
Leaving Dumbley out of position and control means keeping him off balance. Perfect!
Having heard what transpired, Harry definitely sees Dudley in a different light. They have years of antagonism to work out, but with this on top of all that Dudley has done to make restitution, he sees his cousin becoming a better man.
While it would be fun to have Snape test the wards at #4, I have something much better planed for him than mere death.
Receiving presents is always nice. -Snicker!-
He can't help it if they don't like what he gave. It's the thought that counts after all.
Elves: That's actually a major point in my stories. None of the wizards consider the house-elves a threat. Bad Juju, Mon! Look how easily Dobby did all the things he did, while bonded to the Malfoy's, even though he knew he'd have to punish himself for doing them.
More than merely showing his gusts, he is reassuring them of their childrens' safely and demonstrating the benefits of their training.
And Harry will definitely have a few words with those kids' parents. they'll be mentioned in the next few chapters, and later, when the war is over, he'll take them as his first -real- students.
Harry and Hermione will 'Occasionally' see Dudley and Marissa, but it will be infrequent. As long as Marissa doesn't let on she's a witch, Petunia should have no complaint.
While I really didn't like killing off Fudge, you are correct. When one sleeps with dogs, one wakes with fleas.
Diaz made a rookie's mistake. Hopefully he'll learn.
Rita: This really doesn't violate her agreement with Harry. While unexpected, it also helps to keep Dumbledore off balance. Voldemort knows the truth, but he's willing to keep quiet on it.
TE disaffected: Basically yeah. murder, rape and torture are requirements for their mark, so I really can't bleed for them. Like most minions, they are learning they are not only expendable, but expendable at their boss' whim.
Mack Reynolds: Sounds like a Russian proverb to me!
Yes and each of them will suffer more. Voldemort may win some of his battles, but each time he'll lose people.
Dumbledore is more than happy to watch the Deez kill off the sheep. In canon he did little or nothing but gather information and let his people die. Some leader,hunh?
Harry: I set this up like I'd plan a campaign, leaving little to chance and relying on my people so do the things I couldn't. Too many authors have Harry being A 'lone wolf'. It's not realistic. A lone wolf cannot hope to accomplish such goals unless he has a hideous amount of luck. That's what Rowling's ghost writer did in Book seven.
(One of my unfinished stories, 'Taking matters into my own hands' is a direct contradiction of this statement, so when you read that, please feel free to tell me I said that.)
Luna doesn't need a beater's bat. She's got a functioning lightsaber!
Until next time...