I think "diminutive" is the word you're looking for. Kaz Hirai makes several good points (e.g., the underwhelming battle scene; the unsatisfying ending) that others have touched on. The ending in particular wasn't optimal, in part because of SIYE site requirements. (There had to be something of a happy ending for the two). Now that the piece has been judged there, I plan to tweak the posting on ff.net to make it more satisfying. I think she misses one point, however. Nearly every religious tradition personifies death in some fashion, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that Harry, who is the Master of Death, is destined to be its avatar. nonjon's point that Harry doesn't lose enough in the process is apropos, something I expect to fix. (Also, I'd point out that in my story Death was an angel, not a parakeet. Both have feathers, granted, but they evoke somewhat different things in the mind of the reader).