Before I get into details, let me just tell you how impressed I am with your story. Very. I found it through reviewers of my own first fanfic. When at least three of them (and probably more, I can't remember) had it listed in their favorites, I couldn't resist checking it out.
I don't like to write long reviews, so I'll settle for telling you what I like most about your story.
First off, you avoid clichés more effectively than any other fanfic author I've ever read. You do so intentionally, but without it bothering me, as I thought it would. Your treatment of Lily and Scrimgeour are on the forefront of my mind, as well as your more in-depth analysis of other characters, such as Moody and Neville.
My other favorite element is Susan. She isn't a Mary Sue, and she isn't like most of the characters I've seen shipped with Harry. You've written her well. Also, I'm always a fan of unique ships.
One final thing to compliment, though it goes hand in hand with your habit of avoiding clichés. Narcissa Black. You've done a fantastic job with her, and all of it was in a single chapter (or perhaps a pair of single chapters, I can't quite recall).
In any case, I'm eagerly awaiting your next update.
Thank you for the vote of confidence. I don't necessarily avoid the cliches. I would like to think I give them a fresh twist. One of the reasons I am somewhat avoiding Hermione and Ron in this story is to develop the second (and sometimes third or fourth) tier characters. Ron is going to be stuck in the unusual postition of having to play peacemaker between Harry and Hermione.
I get mixed reviews on Susan. Sometimes she's a bit too flighty, but I think I am doing okay all things considered.
For someone who made such a brief appearance and disappearance from the story, Narcissa left an impression on everyone. With the politics heating up, I'll have to bring her back eventually. -- Jim