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Reviews For The Torch by Rhetor

Friday 14th January 2011 22:41
The Torch
This is so much of a more satisfying ending than all the hundreds of pages in Deathly Hallows; it hits that bittersweet-longing spot on every re-read.

I've read in your other responses that you're spending more time with original fiction these days, but I really do hope you consider continuing (and sharing!) that sequel!
Saturday 1st January 2011 02:54
The Torch
I still love this so very much.
Saturday 1st January 2011 18:16The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks, Joia. You know I value your good opinion.

Happy New Year,

Wednesday 1st December 2010 09:53
The Torch
Very nice. But it does make me long for the next bit of the story... where Hermione actually begins teaching the new generation of wizards in Britain, and takes her place among the legends of the wizarding world.
Wednesday 1st December 2010 22:33The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you! You're very kind.

I actually did begin a sequel, called "The Schoolmistress," but I never finished it.

Since that time, I've focussed primarily on original fiction; I've had several stories published. My latest story appeared on the online magazine Cosmos last week:

Best wishes,

Friday 1st August 2008 09:52
The Torch
Wow! So much guilt and sorrow... and it is so like Hermione to find a ray of hope in a book!! After I first read this story I started to think about what might happen next, but I realized that you didn't write the story for it's future, but for the emotion of now... I just loved it!!
Tuesday 15th April 2008 11:08
The Torch
When I started reading reading fanfiction after DH this story touched my heart. That terrible loneliness, guilt and hopelessness is well-written. I have reread it several times to enjoy that bittersweet hopeful ending.
Monday 14th April 2008 20:51
The Torch
This is the first fanfiction I've been able to read in a single sitting since my stroke, but I'm very happy to have found it. Your work here shows why you desreved to win the contest. You captured the angst of the survivor of a disaster, yet managed to turn everything around by the end of the tale. The plot itself is brilliant, and opens a whole new AU for the future. I'd like to see what you might do with the plotline set in 2009 and beyond. It could be very interesting...
Monday 14th April 2008 21:32The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you kindly. It's an honor to be the first FF you've read in your recovery.

I haven't done much FF writing lately because I've been trying to write original fiction for the last six months. (I actually had a story accepted for publication last week!) But I do have about 3,000 words of a sequel to this story, called "The Schoolmistress." It's set in 2009.

I'll be reading "The Torch" aloud (along with "Minding the Baby") at the Terminus conference in Chicago this August.

Tuesday 8th April 2008 07:56
The Torch
that would be insane!!! And thats crazy how that spell wiped out everyone...
she could probably get epeople from other countries to help her...
Monday 14th April 2008 21:27The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks again!
Sunday 18th November 2007 20:18
The Torch
wow... this was interesting! I cant believe that everyone just vanished... and all that was left was hermonie... that must suck... but wouldnt other wizards move to britian over time...

Monday 14th April 2008 21:26The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.
Monday 13th August 2007 16:56
The Torch
All I can say is "wow."

I think this is a brilliant story for what it is. The power and emotion behind everything is just incredible, as is your characterization of Hermione.

I must also commend you for not trying to expand this story despite it's popularity. I think that trying to continue this tale would only run you into problems that would take away from the power of this one-shot. For instance... Hermione won't be able to access everything already existing in the Wizarding World, she isn't all-knowing nor all-powerful. Wouldn't she devote copious amounts of time and effort into reversing the spell? How will she control the wizarding world? Once the students begin graduating they won't really have anywhere to go, nor any wizarding businesses or companies to pay them. What happens when students come along who are more powerful than she is? etc. etc.

I think you've done a brilliant job with this story and I love it for what it is and what you meant it to be. Kudos!

Monday 13th August 2007 21:47The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you so much. As you probably know, the story was written as a response to a very specific prompt, and I tried to stay true to the prompt.

I have wondered what might happen next, or maybe what might happen much later, and I've jotted down a scene or two, but those jottings take a completely different tack and feel utterly different than this story does. I don't think it's illegitimate to write another story set in this "universe," so long as I don't claim it's part of this same story. This story is about rising from the ashes.

Fan fiction readers' desire for sequels to everything they read is completely natural, when you consider why most people start reading fan fiction to begin with.

Tuesday 17th July 2007 11:31
The Torch
Although like most I would like Harry and friends to survive I most say I loved this strory. It gives hope, that will something seems to have been all but vanished nature finds a way to regrow. An excelent story I think. Keep up the good work and iI'm glad I listend too you to read your other storys because there worth reading. Thanks for writing them.
Wednesday 18th July 2007 17:53The Torch (Author Response)
I badly want Harry and the gang to survive too; I hope they do. I guess we'll know on Saturday. I am thrilled, impressed and grateful that you ploughed through all my stories, and in so short a time! Wow. It's a tremendous compliment, and I'm grateful. ~Ken
Thursday 7th June 2007 21:59
The Torch
That was lovely. And who better to do it than Hermione Granger?
Friday 8th June 2007 09:19The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. And I agree -- this is the task Hermione was born to accomplish.
Thursday 3rd May 2007 15:14
The Torch
wow this is a great story its definately a phoenix moment for hermione. thanks for writing it it rocks

oh and i like your name
Monday 7th May 2007 07:31The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked the story -- and the name.
Thursday 19th April 2007 16:15
The Torch
Wow! That was amazing! I could really imagine how Hermione was feeling, so alone and responsible. Then shock, hope, and finally, a mission. Amazing concept for that spell. I think my favorite line was "Gradually, like a flower opening on barren soil, her hand unclenched; the blood flowed back into her fingers." Your stories are always so well written and heartfelt. Thanks for telling me about your other stories on this site. I will come back and look at the others soon. ~Kim
Thursday 19th April 2007 19:46The Torch (Author Response)
Aw, thanks, Kim. It makes me feel wonderful that you like the work so well. I was fond of that line too, and it was one of the very last ones I wrote, on a third or fourth or fifth draft.
Wednesday 18th April 2007 20:22
The Torch
Wow. I can't believe that Hermione thought that the spell would get rid of all the magic. Of course new ones were going to be born. I love the stuff you write about, very interesting.
Thursday 19th April 2007 19:45The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks for saying so. I think we can forgive Hermione, given the depression into which she was sinking, for not thinking the problem through.
Tuesday 17th April 2007 22:40
The Torch
This story is 2,258 words long and I wouldn't change a single one.

Thank you for writing it.
Wednesday 18th April 2007 07:15The Torch (Author Response)
Aw, thank you for reading it.
Neli P
Thursday 15th March 2007 20:10
The Torch
Awesome ! A real "phoenix" moment beautifully written
The idea of the Reflective Curse is very interesting, I can absolutely picture it in Book 7. As for the effects of it ... OMG ... I've always thought that Harry will (not die, but) loose all his magical abilities after his final battle of Voldemort (!), Maybe you, Rhetor, have the Sight after all ??
Anyway, keep writing! Your stories are always GREAT
Friday 23rd March 2007 13:31The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks! I'm glad you like them.

I'm sure I don't have the Sight, especially as to JKR's plots. I don't predict what's to come; I merely create futures that suit the point I'm trying to make...
Thursday 15th March 2007 15:32
The Torch

I can appreciate the loneliness and hope of the situation. I'm sure Hermione will do fantastic. I hope that you consider doing a follow up maybe something at Hermione's retirement
Friday 23rd March 2007 13:30The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you for that kind review. I hadn't planned on doing a follow up, but people do keep asking about it.
Thursday 15th March 2007 09:21
The Torch
Wow, tragic, but inspiring.
Thursday 15th March 2007 11:22The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you!
J.R. Lewis
Tuesday 13th March 2007 19:52
The Torch
An absolutely beautiful story of renewal!

Please pardon me while I go cry my eyes out.
Tuesday 13th March 2007 21:00The Torch (Author Response)
Aw, thanks. Sorry about the tears.
Tuesday 13th March 2007 06:05
The Torch
The last witch in Britain sat down in an old armchair to brood

I don't know why, but I love that line.

This is such a good story, not surprised that it won. Yes, Hermione must be a favorite of your. You write her so well.
Tuesday 13th March 2007 20:51The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks, Rachel. I like that line too. It's supposed to be a kick in the teeth that tells you, "This is going to be really unpleasant, so watch out, " while at the same time tantalizing the reader to wonder why.

I do like Hermione quite a lot. But she's always sad in my stories. I'd like to write a story where she's happy.
Tuesday 13th March 2007 03:47
The Torch
Nasty idea - ingenious, though. Poor Hermione.

I'd like to see what happens.
Tuesday 13th March 2007 20:49The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks. Yeah, I didn't mean for it to get too nasty. I needed to find a way to get Hermione to open a new school, and then I realized it really ought to be a re-opening of Hogwarts, and then I asked myself, "Well, why would Hogwarts need to be re-opened by Hermione?" and the rest of the story came to me...
Tuesday 13th March 2007 02:06
The Torch
Ken, when Dave left a link to this story some time back, it took me forever before I got up the nerve to read it, as I know that your stories always have some form of tragedy (massive, widespread tragedy ) as the backbone of the plot. And I was right!

But seriously, I do admire your writing style, as it often leaves me wondering "what if?". What if this did happen (heaven forbid!)? I think that your choice of Hermione as the lone survivor of that holocaust is perfect, as out of all of them, would be the one to be able to cope best with survivor's guilt. Poor Hermione though. How lonely she must be without Harry, Ginny and especially Ron. I do believe that she'll be happy again, once Hogwarts reopens, as teachng the next generation of wizards and witches will make her life worth living again.


Tuesday 13th March 2007 20:47The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks, Cel. *Sigh* A lot of people have begun saying that they approach my work with trepidation because it's so sad. (Except for the one with the Sea Warbler, of course ). I don't go looking for these horrible tragedies, you know; it's just that something in me keeps looking for redemption in the face of loss (keeps coming up over and over again, doesn't it?). Probably something I'm working out for myself. I agree that Hermione is the only one to carry this burden, and even she almost didn't make it out of her depression. And yes, I think she will rise from her ashes.
Monday 12th March 2007 23:18
The Torch
If Book 7 has to end with a spell like the one at the beginning of this story, I'm certainly glad that it is Hermione who will carry the torch. The children entering Hogwarts under Hermione's tenure will be the lucky ones: she'll see that they know their History of Magic, no doubt about that! Great story!
Tuesday 13th March 2007 20:43The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you for that praise. I agree that this is a role that was tailor-made for Hermione, even though she may not get much joy of it.
Monday 12th March 2007 19:05
The Torch
This is a nice story, but it is also one that raises all sorts of ideas for plot bunnies.

Has Hermione even thought to visit Diagon Alley or the MoM? Perhaps the goblins were not affected. What about the house elves? I imagine they might be toiling away like Kreacher - ever seeking to clean ever empty houses.

Of course, as there are no House Elves at Hogwarts, perhaps they and the goblins also vanished - but what about Beaubatons? What about magical people in America, Australia, China, India, etc? If she looks around a bit she may find that some others still exist who may be able to help her. If not, then her job is greater than she realizes, for children all over the world will start experiencing accidental magic in the next few years, and no one will be around to explain, obliviate, etc.

Perhaps the tools the MoM use to keep track of magic use over large areas can still be found (and used) in the MoM. Perhaps some useful aids exist in the Dept of Mysteries - such as Time Turners. With them she can at least be in two places at once, making education a little easier.

As I said, all sorts of ideas come to mind. I'll have to think more on this one.
Monday 12th March 2007 20:04The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you! I'm delighted that this story invokes so many bunnies for you.

Actually there are House Elves still at Hogwarts (they're mentioned when she get into the courtyard). Personally I think the other magical beings (goblins, centaurs, etc.) survived too. The curse had a radius that disintegrated the witches and wizards in Great Britain and northern France, but nowhere else. Eventually, when Hermione has been working on this project for a few months and is able to think rationally again, she will realize that she can probably seek help from Beauxbatons or someplace and that will make her job easier.

The time turners are an interesting idea, although she'd have to use them for sleep too, and she'd wind up aging twice as fast as everyone around her! Won't be necessary at the beginning, anyway. With such small entering classes she can treat it as a "one-room schoolhouse" for the first few years.

Thanks again.
Monday 12th March 2007 18:12
The Torch
Wow...Scary thought! But I love the idea of Hermione teaching these new students! How did she survive the blast, exactly? Bit confused there.

Great job! It would be very interesting to see how you could carry this farther.
Monday 12th March 2007 19:58The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you! As to Hermione's survival: the Reflective Curse can operate only if there is another witch or wizard, the "anchor", providing support for the spell. The energy from the spell flows outward from the anchor (Hermione), concentrates in the space between the invoker (Hary) and the target (Tom), and "explodes" from there. But because the anchor is the source of the outward flow of energy, the explosive wave bends around her, something like the effect of two water currents interacting. Does that make sense?

I probably won't be carrying this story any futher, but maybe somone else will.
Monday 12th March 2007 16:33
The Torch
Are you going to write more about Hermione's journey to reopen Hogwarts? You've done such a good job with this, it would be a shame if you just left it here.
Monday 12th March 2007 19:54The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you for saying that. You know, several people have made the same suggestion to me privately. Truthfully I'm not moved to write the rest of the story, because it was this moment that really drew my attention. Of course, someone might write up Granger's Adventures in New Hogwarts, but it probably won't be me!
Monday 12th March 2007 15:51
The Torch
A tear and smile in one short fic. Good stuff.
Monday 12th March 2007 19:52The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks! I'm glad it moved you.
Monday 12th March 2007 15:50
The Torch
I have to admit, I began this story with trepidation. Will I want to laugh or cry when I reach the end? You leave a spotty record on which it will be. I don't mean that as a negative. Your writing always evokes a strong emotional impact. What a disaster! What a recovery. Hope springs eternal, as does determination.

Thanks again for showing that frantic action is not required to leave the reader breathless.
Monday 12th March 2007 19:52The Torch (Author Response)
Thank you for that praise. I am honored.

I think you'd probably better count on tears, rather than laughter, from me most of the time. Usually the funny stuff comes labeled...
Monday 12th March 2007 12:46
The Torch
Well, I've read this three times now, in one form or another, and it's still hard to read. Hermione's anguish is palpable, and the readers' (or at least my) attachment to the other characters makes it all the more poignant. Harry and Ron get a mention, in the context of the setup, but for the main part of the story no characters except the portraits are mentioned by name. I don't know if that was conscious and/or deliberate on your part, but I thought it worked really well. Being who I am, I kept looking for a mention or memory of Harry, Ginny, or just about anyone. But there wasn't anyone because there wasn't anyone. Ouch.

And yet . . . Hermione's mental state is (again) the primary tragedy of the piece. She who is so horribly logical and thoughtful is rendered irrational and thoughtless. She herself is the result of a random genetic mutation, and yet she forgets that there are and always will be others like her in Britain. (If I were going to pick nits, I would wonder how the spell skipped unborn magical children, but I think that's an unnecessary level of detail for the story.) Also, she doesn't think about other countries (as we discussed). She's smart enough to think of all of these things and more, but she just doesn't, and that's the saddest bit of all.
Monday 12th March 2007 19:49The Torch (Author Response)
Aw, Dave, now everyone will see the gaping plot holes!

Thank you so much for both the praise and the perceptive analysis. I didn't consciously decide to leave names out of the main narrative, but now that you point it out to me I'm glad that it worked out that way. I was so focussed on the hell Hermione was going through that other characters just slipped out of my mind. (Did mention Filch, though...)

The best explanation I have for Hermione's failures to see what's around her is that the shock and sorrow have sent her spiralling into depression. Her intelligence is overcome by her guilt and grief. Until the end, that is!

Thanks again.
Monday 12th March 2007 12:04
The Torch
Oh wow. That was so horrible, the decimation of the wizarding world, with only poor Hermione left. Do you not like her much? But that was really cool, the new wizarding children being born. Are you planning on continuing with this universe? But anyway, excellent story, as usual.
Monday 12th March 2007 19:45The Torch (Author Response)
Thanks! Actually I adore Hermione, and I rather over-identify with her. So everything terrible that I imagine happening, I imagine happening to her -- because it's like it's happening to me. Does that make sense?

I'm not planning on continuing this story. If you read Sovran's review, you'll see that the plot is riddled with holes that I'll probably never be able to fill properly. Anyway, it was really intended as a one-shot.