1. Some of you may have noticed that Ron calls his friends by their last names at times. I'm not British, but I have noticed that this is fairly common even among friends in the English school system. The Goddess (JKR) generally has Harry, Ron, and Hermione use first names among each other in dialogue to indicate their special friendship for each other, but under casual circumstances Ron could easily use last names for his friends and not mean anything by it. Of course, for him Hermione is a special case-she's either Granger, Hermione, or 'Mione, depending the way he's thinking about her at any particular time.
2. The title for Chapter Five, "Kings Play Chess on Fine Grained Sand", is a popular mnemonic for people in zoology to keep all the classifications straight-kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. But as you saw in this chapter, the king, rarely an active piece, does have a role to play in one of the games besides that of helpless victim. *Snicker*
3. The title for Chapter Eleven, "The Disorderly Knights", is taken from the Dorothy Dunnett book of the same name.
4. The Game in Chapter Twelve is based (ok, stolen from) on the eleventh game in the 1927 world champion series between Capablanca and Alekhine. Thanks to taka_aerie for finding the game and A.J. Goldsby for displaying and analyzing it (go visit the site if you're interested in seeing the full analysis. This guy is such a Ravenclaw!).
5. Regarding Lucius' Malfoy's chess set: The white pieces are those of the ancien regime, while black is obviously Bonapartist. For white, the King is Louis XVI and the queen Marie Antoinette. The bishop with the walking stick is Talleyrand (who really did have the kind of political career Malfoy mentions), while the stiff-necked one is Necker, the Finance Minister (who was Swiss). On the black side, the king is Napoleon Bonaparte, while the queen is Josephine (you ought to read Anthony Burgess's Napoleon Symphony, if only for the bit about Josephine and the roses of Malmaison). Talleyrand is one of the bishops, while the second one is Fouche, Napoleon?s spymaster.
6. Another note on Talleyrand: there are only two other politicians that I know of who have come close to his record for um, 'flexibility' and longevity. The first is William Cecil of England, who was a clerk for John Dudley (Earl of Northumberland) in the reign of Edward VI, a clerk during the reign of Mary I, and Elizabeth I's chief councilor during her long reign. The next is Deng Hsiao Ping of China, since Mao's changes of heart were just as deadly as regime changes anywhere else, and who ended up Premier of China after Mao's death (actually, China's system of rotation is far more useful to it than the executions in other totalitarian countries, and I suspect we can all name Western politicians that a year or so of rice-picking just might improve).
7. There will be sequel(s). (I'm one of those people who dream up twelve-book series, ok? Just thought you might appreciate the warning.) There will also be future stories that aren't in this particular (AU because of ORDER OF THE PHOENIX) timeline. They will be clearly marked.
8. I hope you have enjoyed this story. I know I did writing it. I thank you all for reading and appreciating what I?ve done.
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