Reviews For A Proper Epilogue
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2018.03.17 - 01:37PM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Ah, and finally I wrap it up! I love the poignant twist; I kind of saw it coming, but that didn't diminish for the the power of the message. A 'proper' epilogue it was indeed! Well done!
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.02.15 - 12:02PM Title: Chapter 19 - Puzzle Pieces (or Deus ex Machina?)
Ooh, I love the intrigue! Love the idea of the Death Eater wives seizing control and attempting to run things. I find them far more imposing than their husbands! Cissy can hold her own with Kingsley, but I'd really love to see Draco survive a night in Ministry lock up. Now that would be an amusing read!
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.02.14 - 11:43AM Title: Chapter 15 - St. Mungo's
Oh, such a sad, sad chapter. Even though I was less than thrilled with them having a baby, this isn't something I'd wish on my worst enemy. So sad. What I adored about it, however, is that you had Ron and Hermione there to share Harry's grief. They are such a hugely important part of his life, and so many of us H/G fans tend to forget that. They are his family, and it seemed so right he'd turn to them. In the same vein, I love that it was Molly who is there for Ginny. Molly will always be her mum, and I really, really appreciate the acknowledgement of these others in our young couples lives. Harry's life is still in danger. There's no doubt others who think as Lucius, and hopefully Harry will realize he can do more good hunting them down than returning to school.
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.02.14 - 09:49AM Title: Chapter 13 - The Wedding
That was an action packed chapter! I'm really intrigued by how you have so many stories going simultaneously, and yet they all fit together. How do you keep track of all the details? Do you keep a notes page? I see this story with two main arcs - the love story and the action story. On the action side, I love the arrogance you portray from the Malfoys. Lucius is so unaware, it's painful, yet fun to read. I can't believe you had me cheer for Pansy Parkinson, who I really don't like. You give her more compassion, and I love how the Slytherin side of self preservation still shines through. In my mind, the wedding is happening a year later simply because of my own hang-ups with married students, but it works for me. My most favorite part of this whole chapter? The scene of the developing friendship between George and Dudley. I think it's really well done. I haven't seen it before, and that in itself is a feat in fanfiction!
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.02.13 - 07:32PM Title: Chapter 11 - Exploration and Discovery
I can't help but feel bad for Molly in this one. Only one daughter to spend a lifetime dreaming about her wedding to be foiled at every turn. I know it's Ginny's wedding, but my heart aches for Molly :(
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.02.10 - 03:34PM Title: Chapter 9 - Divergent Reunions
Ah - thanks for the break! Its my busy season in real life, so I can only get in scattered moments to read, and this was pleasant. I love Ron on a plane. I think the only thing I'd like to see more is Arthur on a plane, lol. Hermione's house elf tirades still bug me - they did in canon, too. I don't think she ever bothered to see things from their POV rather than her own. I tend to think Kreacher shouldn't be freed because it would kill him. He needs dignity and respect, but his pride come in working.
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2018.02.03 - 10:22AM Title: Chapter 21 - And Two Shall Become One
Ah yes -- after the action, stress and tumult, a long-deserved respite! Nicely written!
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.01.26 - 08:59PM Title: Chapter 6 - Unwelcome Arrivals
Okay, besides the obvious joy I took in seeing Ginny hex Malfoy - I have to give you props on how well you incorporate the Slytherins into the story. I always struggle wihen writing them in making them sound right, and you seem to do it effortlessly. I firmly believe Lucius should have to go back to Azkaban, if not for his DE status, than at least for the punishment he was serving before he excepted.. Well done, and I'm eager to see what happens next!
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.01.26 - 12:47PM Title: Chapter 5 - With All That I Am and All that I Have
I love, love, love, love your Molly and Arthur. They're the parents Harry needs, and I find myself wanting to reach into the story and hug them. Your description of George breaks my heart. Of all the characters, he's the one I worry most about post-canon. I have to admit - I'm one of those who believes Harry did do the right thing in leaving Ginny' behind, so I balk a bit at the suggestion he needs to apologize for it. Ginny was underage. The Trace would've had them caught before they'd even begun because I don't believe she'd be able to not act when one of them was in danger. Who could? I think the results would've been a disaster. While I think she's his greatest comfort, he didn't need comfort - he needed to do his job. I also don't think Hogwarts was easy, but again, not his fault she was there. There was no place easy until Voldemort was destroyed. That's my .02 on it, anyway.
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.01.25 - 12:54PM Title: Chapter 3 - Embracing Memories
Really neat idea for Harry to explain through Pensieve memories. I'm so happy with this story that Ginny accepted the enormity of the situation for what it was. I find stories where she holds what he had to do against him as so petty. Ginny doesn't seem like the kind of girl who'd waste a second chance. I was waiting for the memory of Harry himself being possessed at the Ministry. Any insight for me on why you decided not to share that one - purely for my own curiosity?
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.01.24 - 08:20PM Title: Chapter 2 - All Manner of Surprises
Okay, I'm having an adult breverage while I sit on my couch with your story, and when I reached the part where Molly promises never to yell at her kids again and then finds Ron and Hermione and promptly yells, I spit on my Ipod, lol. It was perfect and delightful and so very much both in character and a good mom reaction Well done!
Reviewer: melindaleo Signed Date: 2018.01.24 - 07:27PM Title: Chapter 1 - Unforseen Options
Okay - I noticed in your review that you were writing a post Battle story, and I hadn't seen this one. I try not to read while writing, but since mine is done... here we go! I'm guessing this one won't follow canon exactly (judging by Ron going back to school), but it mostly seems there. I appreciate all the details you put in, and your writing is clear and easy to follow, which I always appreciate.
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.12.03 - 07:44AM Title: Chapter 20 - Restoring Order Out of Chaos
To say this chapter is 'wild' is almost a bit of an understatement. I had been shaking my head through the first half over some jarring shifts in pace, but that set things well for the disorienting buzz of the operation clattering into a half-failed, barely averted full disaster. When the dust settled, it was definitely worth 'five-stars' for effect. My one constructive criticism here is that Harry's Dawlish reticence would have had greater impact if you had introduced the controversy/anxiety earlier -- perhaps back a chapter or more. A plot set-up works best when the set-up has had time to 'set'.
Anyway, good action writing is very difficult, but you turned a few fine tricks here!
Author's Response: Your observation about Dawlish is an excellent suggestion. It may be the result of projection on my part, but I always felt JKR wrote Dawlish as a deeply morally ambiguous person. Nevertheless, it would have been an improvement to acknowledge that within the story, itself, rather than assuming everyone else would have the same reaction. Sirius was correct; the world is more complex than pure goodness versus pure evil.
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.11.21 - 10:56AM Title: Chapter 19 - Puzzle Pieces (or Deus ex Machina?)
First of all, I hope you're not offended I'm taking forever to make my way through the story! It's a fascinating tale; just that my free time often now gets taken up with site issues and whatnot.
Anyway, the 'story after the story' construct in your Epilogue seems more intriguingly tangled than the first part -- lots of cloak and dagger! Pansy herself, however, is so very not-cloak-and-dagger. An interesting tragic heroine.
Anyway hope all's well. With luck, I should be popping back into your review space again soon!
Author's Response: Greetings! I am in no way offended. To the contrary, I am pleased and honored that you are spending this much time on my story. Thank you. Now, I think I need to review this chapter in order to understand your comments!
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.09.24 - 07:14AM Title: Chapter 18 - Embracing Realities
Interesting back story to Florian Fortescue! I did a bit of scouting to see what canonical explanation for the oddly detailed yet negligent way he was handled in the books and discovered that he was indeed being groomed for a key role in DH, but the plot wandered elsewhere. Your rehabilitation of his story is more satisfying.
I very much enjoyed key aspects of the Harry/Ginny 'equilibration' in this chapter. It is in segments like these that you are delivering on your 'proper epilogue' mandate. Good job!
I have a few nits and a couple of pickies that I will share in a PM. If they don't appear shortly, then blame the messenger :)
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.08.27 - 12:34PM Title: Chapter 17 - Moving Forward, Changing Plans
As I re-read this chapter, the phrase 'quiet desperation' echoed in my head -- the melancholy of Thoreau... and Pink Floyd of course.
There is a fair bit of quiet desperation in this story as the tragedies mount, but it is not of the 'hanging on' variety (a la Roger Waters) but rather a precursor to the "There, there. Now back on your feet." attitude that, since the Battle of Britain, has been the true 'English Way'.
I like the direct yet sensitive approach your grounded protagonists take in addressing grief and angst. It does differ from Rowling's, whose grief-therapy often involves the verbal equivalent of a swift boot (perhaps the stereotypical 'Scottish Way'? Best not to perpetuate stereotypes, though. My own relatives up yonder are very dear to me.). But no matter; many many fanfic stories take a softer line than JKR.
Hmmm... This may well take the prize for least coherent review, but ah well. Good writing. Carry on!
Author's Response: I really appreciate your reviews! Thank you! M. My family is primarily English on one side and Scotch-Irish on the other, though like most Americans, there is a dribble of this and that. After nearly three centuries here, probably the only thing we truly are is American. But I digress. I've spent my entire life living with a mixture of "There,there. Now back on your fee." And the swift kick in the ass! As a priest, I saw a lot of people who wallowed in tragedy. All things considered, I like a tender approach to the English way! I guess my writing shows that, and I hope I am not using too much projection of my own preferences onto characters who live in a culture that is different than my own! What is the old expression? Two cultures divided by a common language? Throw in Australia, and make it three. New Zealand, and call it four? Regardless, I see Harry and Ginny as both possessing the capacity to absorb tragedies and move forward, yet not without tremendous compassion between them, as a couple, as well as with their friend who have fought with them through a slice of Hell. Now, I am taking the prize for least coherent reply! Thank you, again!
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.08.09 - 08:39AM Title: Chapter 16 - Some Stupid, Noble Reason
A perfect stroke of the pen to have Harry finally drive home the truth that is love...
Through much of this story you write our protagonists as the struggling teens that they, rather than the idealised icons we might wish them to be. Reality is more difficult to read than ideality, however the reward that comes with the epiphanous apparation of true sincerity makes it worth it.
One tiny quibble with Kingsley saying, "I know it seems like a lot to ask...". I believe a straight shooter of his character would say, "I know it *is* a lot to ask..."
Author's Response: I'm sort of speechless after this review! Thank you so much. This is perhaps the most meaningful review I have ever received, especially coming from someone whose writing I respect so thoroughly. Thank you so much! And, good catch on Kingsley's statement. I agree. That would have been a better decision.
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.08.06 - 06:09PM Title: Chapter 15 - St. Mungo's
This chapter is a fascinating exercise in conflictedness -- healing followed by woundedness; resolution but irresolution, etc. It makes it all maddeningly real, as opposed to the nicely packaged fictions that we're so accustomed to. So, well done!
I loved Hermione's line about evil rising up to replace evil. This is a great example of Hermione's book smarts evolving into wisdom, which is a development that JKR provides a few faint hints at in books 1-6, and showed a little more in DH. Anyway, I like it, since I believe that many people who really try to learn things also learn to 'understand' things.
Author's Response: Thank you for sticking with this story! I truly appreciate your insights. I'm so glad you liked the way I had Hermione continue down the transition from knowledge to wisdom. So many stories set after Deathly Hallows have continued to write Ron, Hermione, and Molly as if none of them had evolved despite having gone through this terrible war. I just don't get it. Yes, it is fun to have an easy foil built right into the group of main characters, but it never feels right to me that Ron would remain a clueless, jealous child, Hermione would be shown as an abrasive, self-centered know-it-all, and Molly would be a shrew of a judgmental mother who insists that her daughter remain a 12-year-old. I hope I have allowed all the characters to develop, yet not become unrecognizable!
Reviewer: rbrt_emmer Signed Date: 2017.07.08 - 11:04PM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Thank you for posting this here. When I saw your pen name months ago I remembered someone with the same name on Simply Undeniable many years ago, but I assumed it was someone else who just happened to be a Tolkien fan. Imagine my surprise when I finally start reading your story only to discover it was the story I had read all those years ago on Simply Undeniable. It's been too long that I was able to tell what was changed and what wasn't, and I actually realized as I got through the story that though I remembered quite a lot, I actually didn't remember three quarters of the story and found myself happily being reminded.
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.04.22 - 07:15AM Title: Chapter 14 - The Aftermath
Feel the need for a quick apology for having halted the flow of reviews so abruptly a while back. Things got unremittingly busy for quite a stretch, though now I've found a bit of a respite and have been back to reading and even a bit of writing.
Interesting chapter, with much of it spanning mere seconds, and the whole thing covering at most maybe 10 minutes? A hallmark of a writer who sees the drama in the instant-to-instant shifts of a character's perception, and whose epics span weeks rather than decades :)
You captured the drama very well. My one constructive criticism would be that while there has been foreboding throughout the prior chapters that point to this, the foreboding could have been more surgically aligned to the key themes that emerge in crisis. The key question a writer needs to attend to in writing crises is how much perspective emerges as a sudden flash of insight at the last minute, versus how much has been gradually building through the prior story.
For example, Draco has come across as a bit aimless prior to this, but I think that you may have waited too long to have him realise outright how he is the non-master of his destiny. I think the catastrophe on the rooftop would have come across more powerfully if earlier chapters had revealed not just his obliviousness, but perhaps a bit more guilt and self-doubt. If he had been led a bit earlier to begin pondering the value of developing a backbone, the crisis here would have all the more of an "Oh Sh*t" impact.
A bit more wrenching yet is the question of whether to have had Ginny developing a bit more of a relationship with her nascent being within. Some writers could have built up this scene even more by having had Ginny experience more of the introspective communication with her unborn that some mothers have. Or you could leave it as is. Depends on how rough you want to be with your audience.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm always pleased to receive your reviews, and I appreciate your willingness to take the time and energy to provide meaningful critiques. I think you are precisely on target about my failure to develop the relationship between Ginny and her unborn child. There are several reasons for that, not that these were conscious actions (or inactions) on my part. Looking back, I would make the change you are suggesting. Now, as for Draco ... I had problems writing this character because I never saw him much of a backbone in canon. Even on Platform 9-3/4 in the Epilogue of DH, what little we see of him is still the flashy faux-aristocrat! Either that, or I can't help reading him that way! LOL! Anyway, back on point, I wanted to leave his actions conflicted. Did he Apparate to his father's side to stop Lucius from killing Harry or to stop Pansy from intervening with the plan? I don't think even Draco knew what he intended to do once he reached the rooftop. To mean, his nature is to keep his options open without fail so he can continue to try to identify whatever will eventually be best for him. Does that make sense? Your observation of him being non-master of his destiny is exactly right, but he doesn't realize it in my world, at least. He continues to think he can control things even when they are spinning wildly out of control. So I'm not sure he would ever wonder about his failure to develop some backbone. Even at Malfoy Manor, when he simultaneously does and does not identify Harry, he appears to be lost -- "What is better for me?" -- Not, "What is morally right?" So, I'm going to reflect on your comments about Draco! Maybe it is my own ambivalence about the character. Perhaps I can put this into some context. While I was in seminary, one of my classmates was a generally nice guy when things were running smoothly, but in the face of tension, he would shift into a viciously defensive posture. Then, once the conflict was resolved,instead of apologizing for his behavior, he would rationalize it. "I am the adult shild of an alcoholic," he would say. The implication being that this fact explained why he behaved the way he did while justifying it in the same breath. That is Draco in so many ways. He truly is master of nothing, in my humble (or not so humble) opinion. Anyway, that's why I wrote him the way I did, for good or bad! Yes to his sense of self-doubt! I'm not sure about him ever having a sense of guilt. Finally, and I apologize for babbling on, it's entirely possible that I failed in my attempt to characterize Draco's conflicted response. Some people seem to think I was indicting him while others thought I was trying to redeem him. I was not trying to redeem him and my indictment was limited to his failure to discern that there is a moral choice available, not just an expeditious one! Thank you so much for continuing to read and review my work!