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Gwyn Raven posted a comment on Wednesday 1st November 2006 2:55pm for The Last Straw

You said there is a further chapter. Will you ever post it?

Shawn Pickett posted a comment on Thursday 19th October 2006 12:23am for The Last Straw

You know, the more I read this, the more cheesed off I get. I'd really like to see Harry wake up in the hospital wing, see Hermione and Ron curled up together asleep while watching over him, and Harry deciding to take off for a bit to sort things out. Then Ron and Hermione wake up and Harry's just gone.

noylj posted a comment on Wednesday 27th September 2006 10:21am for The Last Straw

Unless Hermy and Ron were in with Harry on ignoring him (and if I am to believe that either Ron or Harry would share Hermy or that either Ron or Harry would be attracted to the other), then I could not see Harry EVER wanting a relationship with the two of them.

Alex00 posted a comment on Sunday 24th September 2006 5:55pm for The Last Straw

Good work.

moony2 posted a comment on Saturday 23rd September 2006 6:36am for The Last Straw

Please update soon. Does HP die or live?

GrimmyD posted a comment on Monday 18th September 2006 5:47pm for The Last Straw

How sad... you say there's another chapter coming? Hopefully it's good news.

Alorkin posted a comment on Monday 18th September 2006 2:31pm for The Last Straw

I like the way you wrote this, Keith. Harry really hated the hiding and the percieved betrayal of his friends, and yet, he loves them enough to die for them.
I have read several posts where people who have read this, felt Harry was being immature, but I cannot see it. After a lifetime of pain from almost everybody he ever knew, he has been hurt so very much by those who he loved and who he thougtht loved him, only to find out that he was merely a 'diversion'. I can easily understand his reaction to that kind of pain. Well done. Alorkin

CoyoteScion posted a comment on Saturday 16th September 2006 10:48am for The Last Straw

sequel? where's the sequel?

Giringiro posted a comment on Thursday 14th September 2006 1:52am for The Last Straw

What a stimulating story. I actually feel compelled to write a review to this one. I will agree there is a fundamental problem of communication here, which is the source of all the hurt and of the relationship not working.

I can not agree that there's no way to correctly assign blame in this story, though. Because if Harry is to blame for keeping it all inside, Ron and Hermione's behavior is frankly unbelievable. I just can't see how they can claim to have been sincere in their affection.

They did leave Harry alone, not the other way around, in many ways short of officially breaking up with him. They met secretly, not feeling the need to keep Harry in the know. In short, they had a second relationship on the side, that was limited to strictly them as a couple. This is Harry's perception, but is supported by every fact he tells us. Is he lying by omission? Should we assume that he's spending quality time, with Ron in the quidditch field, and Hermione in the library, just so there's more balance in distributing the blame? Honestly, the author can't expect us to do so.

And then there's the sex. It's not a matter of vaginal sex being better or 'complete', is the very disarming fact that apparently there was, even when they were intimate as a trio, a sexual act that was reserved for Ron and Hermione only, leaving Harry to watch. With a reason that does not stand up to scrutiny. Again, with Harry having no part in discussing the matter. I even got the impression that Ron and Hermione were the only ones allowed to bring the other to orgasm, which would frankly be appalling. Harry certainly felt that way.

Why didn't Hermione pursue the matter? I'm not saying it's only her fault, but she's the one that makes both Harry and Ron open up. It's one of her specific roles in the trio friendship, even before it was a romantic relationship. I also can't see how clever and perceptive Hermione could miss what was happening between her and Harry specifically. For months--for a school year at least. In the end, it's like Hermione suddenly wakes up and thinks "wait, the last time I had a meaningful conversation with my supposed partner Harry was... Oh." That's why she does, more than the other two, come out a little out of character.

If the story has any weak points, I'll say is the exaggerated importance that is attributed to public opinion and peer pressure. That can't help being seen by the reader as an excuse and nothing more.

Thanks for the good read, though.

Manatheron posted a comment on Wednesday 13th September 2006 12:43pm for The Last Straw

huh... and here I half expected that he'd go off and live with luna, Gabrelle, and half a dozen wood nymphs... Ah well. not a bad one-shot, but considereing how bright hermoine's supposed to be you'd think she would have figured it out, and considering Ron's waggling tounge you'd think he would have slipped at some point... ahh well.

IceBlades posted a comment on Wednesday 13th September 2006 9:40am for The Last Straw

awesome, cant wait to see what u write

AD40K posted a comment on Wednesday 13th September 2006 4:53am for The Last Straw

Okay, I've got a three part posting here, so let me get out my Mimbari bonehead...

First, for Christopher, and his very good summation of Starship Troopers. For the most part I agree with your discourse. The only factual flaw was defining the 'Federation' as an autocracy. An autocracy is rule by one personm either dictator or monarch. The Federation there is a military dictatorship, which is closer to a stratocracy or oligarchy. It is also a totalitarian government, and its strong ties to the military, total disenfrachisement of all people who do not drink the Kool-Aid, unification of state and corporate interests, and strong Social Darwinist beliefs pretty solidly define it as Fascist. Also, I never suggested that Starship Troopers took place in the US of A. My only point in bringing it and Ender's Game to the table was to reference literature in which a sympathetic protagonist was shown from the Third Person Limited Omniscient POV for the express purpose of directing the reader to empathize with a perspective they might not otherwise. I feel it is the purpose of literary critisism to, amongst other things, unmask the author's role in how we feel about the characters and plot he or she has created. And that brings to to my second part...

There is a difference between disliking how one character treats another, and assignation of blame. I agree that I do not like the way Ron or Hermione treat Harry in this story. I also do not like the way Harry treats either Ron or Hermione. We can only see obliquely what Ron and Hermione are like when Harry is not around, but it doesn't seem they are treating each other very well, either. By this, I mean that although each gives the other physical intimacy and public displays of affection, each is enabling the other's loss of intimacy with their partner. They should be helping each other become the partner they want to be, and encouraging more in a relationship besides sex. Instead, each is using the other for physical comfort and emotional reassurance. I hate to assign blame in a failed or failing relationship where no abuse takes place, because all the partners had a part to play, and sometimes the reasons for a failed relationship are outside the control of the participants. Hermione and Ron in this story did not intend to hurt Harry, and accidentally bruising a partner's feelings is just a part of all relationships. It was Harry that let that emotional hurt fester, and it was Harry who's poor communication skills led him to outright lie to his two partners rather than admit he wanted out of the relationship. I don't blame him for that, any more than I blame Hermione for wanting to be out on a date in public, or Ron for wanting to be independant and powerful in something in his life for the first time. The issue is that all three characters are not depicted as having grown up enough to shake these perfectly reasonable character flaws and be able to act as was necessary to be good partners for each other.

And that prings up the third point. I agree with Christopher et al. in a number of ways regarding this story. I agree that honesty is the problem in the relation. And I agree that Harry's potential circle of female companionship is limited.

I just feel that although the protagonist paints a convincing picture of 'poor little me,' the problem of trust is one all three partners share. And I think Harry's small dating pool is irrelavent to the debate at hand. Just becasue he has few options for a current girlfriend soesn't mean that he should jump into a relationship with whomever is left over. And if it means that his relationship skill set is deficient, that means that he should have realized that a complicated three-way polyamorous relation might be jumping in way over his head. By the by, I noticed that you only included potential female partners. Harry's relationship with Ron suggests that he is Bi-, and thus Dean, Seamus, etc. should be considered as well. Unless you think that he is heterosexual, and only accepting a physical relationship with Ron in order to be close to Hermione, which would be absolutely monsterous. (I doubt this very greatly, given the closing scene of chapter one.) But Harry does paint a convincing picture that point of view at least some of that is in his head, from how he describes his feelings about not having had vaginal intercourse. And I think that although part of your limiting Harry to female pertners was the natural inclination of (and I've got a 80% chance of being right on this) a presumptively heterosexual reader, I think the other part is that you have bought completely into the view that Harry's perspective is both right and all there is to the story. Harry instictively defines sex as what he wants with Hermione and not what he has with both Ron and Hermione, and so do you.

And that is the end-all-be-all of my commentary. I think a very great many of us are accepting Harry perspective unquestioningly, and without critically assessing the situation from a neutral point of view. I think tht the situation shifts away from 'Evil Ron and Hermione' and towards 'Three People not Ready for a Relationship' when viewed in the light of a neutral observer. What our reality is depends greatly on our point of view.

Oh Goddess, that last sounded horrifyingly like Obi-wan Kenobi. I'm going to go lie down until the urge to glow blue passes...

Rheya Ramsey posted a comment on Wednesday 13th September 2006 12:42am for The Last Straw

Please, please, post the next chapter soon! I need to know what happens next!

Christopher Estep posted a comment on Tuesday 12th September 2006 7:44pm for The Last Straw

Again, while *Harry* is still a child in his mind, for various reasons, he has been societally limited in relationship partners (that is over and above what being the BWL has done). Throw in being the BWL, and the limits are that much more *strangling*. That Harry has managed to grow up *at all* is amazing, to put it honestly. That he has no romantic experience is, however, depressingly expected. First off, there are the small number of available contemporaries within Hogwarts alone, which is pretty much his ONLY source for romantic interests. Even if Harry had simply been *just another male Gryffindor*, could you see him dating, say, Daphne Greengrass or Millicent Bulstrode (two Slytherins in his year)? Second, given the disaster that was Cho Chang, why in the world would Harry stray from girls he knows about already? That pretty much reduces things to Hermione, the Patils (more so *Padma* than Parvati, given the Yule Ball of Fourth Year) and *maybe* Susan Bones or Hannah Abbott (remember, Ginevra Weasley is dating Neville Longbottom). So, given the limitations of Harry's social circle (simply by his being who he is, then again because of *what* he is), his lack of dating skills, is, all too depressingly, easily explained. (While the story is *not* HBP-compliant, wizarding Britain is *still* wizarding Britain, therefore, there is exactly No Chance At All for him to date Dora Tonks, even though she is FAR better equipped emotionally to handle Harry than even Hermione, simply because Tonks Is An Adult Witch, and Harry is the BWL; that's not fair to Harry, either, but it's real.)

Christopher Estep posted a comment on Tuesday 12th September 2006 7:16pm for The Last Straw

The original "Starship Troopers" was NOT set in the United States (or even in North America), but in Buenos Aires, Argentina (South America) where the military dictatorship was commonplace. One area of *friction* between proponents of autocracies (including military dictatorships) and democracies has to do with the *honesty factor* of where the power really lies: in a democracy, while the power *supposedly* lies directly with the people, the system of designed-in checks and balances in a democracy often obviates this in practice. The original ST also pointed out examples of well-run (in fact, successful) autocracies, but also illustrates why they are few and far between. THe global "Federation" which exists in ST is NOT based on the Universal Service model prevalent throughout Europe, but an "Earned Citizenship" model that exists nowhere on Earth (basically, you MUST serve in the armed forces to earn citizenship; however, you are not allowed to vote until you earn an Honorable Discharge). Also, the criminal justice system is rather straightforward (both corporal and capital punishment are public); again, unlike that of most democracies (or even most autocracies), and FAR different from that of wizarding Britain. (Note that not only did the protagonist in ST receive administrative corporal punishment during *boot camp* in front of other recruits, his DI referred obliquely to having been *at the whipping post* himself. It's not something he'd lie about.) While I am normally no fan of an autocracy, the autocracy model used in ST is of a type uncommon on Earth (the last government with any success that used the model was that of the *original* Roman Empire; if you know RAH, then you also have a pretty good idea why the Roman Empire failed, as it's something he goes into in crushing detail, as well he should, as it was something he was *required* to study as a Naval Academy cadet).

The issue is, in fact, one of honesty in relationships. Ron and Hermione, for whatever reason, had limits to how *public* they wanted things to be about the tri-cornered relationship with Harry. My attack is simply that *regardless* of their reasoning, they were not being either fair OR respectful to Harry's feelings, and that is without taking into account the slings and arrows that Harry himself has borne for them. (If you take those into account, it's actually that much *worse*.) As none other than Albus Dumbledore once said, "The choice is often between what's right, and what's easy."

KLGreen posted a comment on Monday 11th September 2006 11:30pm for The Last Straw

it is a good story but I don't believe that they loved Harry at all the way they should have. They were giving eachother both the emotionally and physically and not Harry. if he is to make it through this he should tell them how he really feels and just walk away from them no matter how much they bagg or plegde he don't desrve the shit they have put him throught at all

jilumasam posted a comment on Monday 11th September 2006 1:28pm for The Last Straw

This is good writing, but I sure don't like Hermione and Ron in this story. By the end of the story I was ready to kick both of them where is really hurts and give Harry a hug.

I think it is sad that Ron and Hermione value Harry so little. That is the saddest bit. With the way the story is written right now, there is no way I could stomach a reconciliation of any kind in the next chapter. Ron and Hermione's behaviour doesn't deserve to be rewarded.


AD40K posted a comment on Monday 11th September 2006 12:05pm for The Last Straw

In large part this is a response to Killua and Christopher, although I'm also directing it at Kinsfire as well.

As an author, I love the third person limited point of view, because it is very much like the old sleight of hand trick, The Magician's Force. The trick is that it looks like the reader is getting an objective reporting of events, but in reality the reader is seeing events through the filter of the protagonist. It's a great tool for a number of uses; manipulating the reader into a certain point of view, hiding evidence so that the readers all go 'oh!' at the same moment in chapter 23 instead of figuring the plot outline in fits and starts from chapter 5 to chapter 15, etc.

I know Kinsfire is a Heinlein fan, so I'd like to direct everyone's attention to his Pre-60s era novel, Starship Troopers. If you haven't read it, do so now. I'll wait...

...okay, so did everyone notice that for half the book, you're rooting for the protagonists and nodding along with how sensible their form of goverment is? What was the the 'oh crap' moment for you where you realized what politics Heinlein had you rooting for? Now, there's some good discussion to be had on whether he was trying to hoodwink the reader, or if he really intended to endorse those politics, but still. (Incidentally, the exact same thing is the real story below the text of Ender's Game, and there's the same debate over what Card really intended. I really hope he's still playing along with the charade in interviews on the subject...)

In both of the above cases and in The Last Straw, I think you're being suckered in by the point of view. Now, whether that was a stroke of genius or a tactical blunder will be borne out in subsequent chapters. But I do feel that sucessfully misleading a huge chunk of the audience into only looking at one side of a story is a success, not a failure.

Killua posted a comment on Monday 11th September 2006 9:24am for The Last Straw

I must say Kinsfire, in response to AD40K review, that if your intention was to portray what the eloquent reviewer exposed, you failed. There's is no doubt that they all love each other(at some level at last) and are young and make mistakes, we are mostly all adults here, we understand that, but reading this there's no doubt who has wronged who. The kind of wrong that doesn't make you stop loving someone but certainly stops you from wanting a relationship with them. If you wanted a more equilibrated and ambiguous interactions you should have writen this differently. That doesn't mean that I don't like this, like most of your work, and I really want to see how you end this.

Christopher Estep posted a comment on Monday 11th September 2006 7:23am for The Last Straw

The reason why so many of us want to burn Ron and Hermione alive (preferably, *boil* them alive in separate cauldrons) is the rather casual and cavalier way they *used* Harry (yeah, I said *used*) until it was too late. For whatever reasons, they couldn't *dare* to let that love (a witch *and* a wizard for another wizard) become Prophet fodder. Harry and Ginny's comments were dead on: if they truly had a clue, they would have dared the slings and arrows. (Besides, how often had *Harry* dared the slings and arrows of the wizarding public over the years?)