Is it alright to post about my own story? Anyway... My thoughts: The Dark connection to ambient magic in the story is more powerful than most Light/internal magic. However, just because a wizard can connect to ambient magic doesn’t mean he can always bend it perfectly to his will. Dark magic is inherently less stable. I think I use the word “feral” to describe it in the fic. So, while Dark wizards have access to greater power, they don’t necessarily have full control of it, and I don’t think of it as the kind of power that would be desirable to the populous at large. Also, the ability to fully utilize ambient magic would have to depend on the strength of the wizard to an extent. Dark wizards vary in power just as much as Light wizards do. I think the capacity to fully access external magic would depend on the strength of internal magic, so a weak wizard doesn’t gain as much benefit from being Dark as a strong wizard does. (By the way, I consider Harry to be very powerful but woefully undereducated in how to direct that power.) Finally, there’s an icky factor to Dark magic as I conceive of it that hasn’t come out in the story because it’s been almost all from Harry and Draco’s point of view. Like with the Absorption Field in chapter 12 or the midsummer ritual, there’s an element of self-exposure in Dark magic that I think many wizards would find unpleasant. I think of magic (in the story, that is, I don’t think it’s this way in canon) as being intimate in a way, so at the extremes Light magic would be like self-stimulation at best while Dark magic would be like sexual exhibitionism. In other words, Dark magic would feel wrong to a lot of people. I can’t believe I just made such a bad analogy, but I can’t think of a better one at the moment. As for why Dark wizards aren’t in control, Howdy had it right. It’s because Light wizards far outnumber them. It's not slash. It's Harry/Dark Witch, and there's no serious romance at all for a long time. It is a 90's style one. I tried to make it sound big and bulky by having two owls deliver it. Maybe too subtle? Other things: Hephaestus is a reference to the Greek god. I didn't even know Alexander the Great had a male lover. They were whispering because they were in a library and the conversation was serious. I whisper even on the non- "quiet floors" of my local library. As for OOC-ness: Yes, probably in some cases. I'm trying to repair some of it.