Spectacular. I absolutely love your description of the final battle and the way you portray Harry. Just brilliant.
Wow! Unique. I loved it. I can honestly say I thought your version of the final battle was better then JKR's (which I frankly found very disappointing.)
You have such an interesting interpretation of Harry's character. It doesn't exactly fit with the Harry in Rowling's books, but your Harry seems to be a more mature rendering of a boy who grew up in the same circumstances/world/environment. Do you know what I mean?
The one thing I have trouble understanding is Harry's reaction to Ron's death. It seems to me that some part of him would feel sorrow... just like some part of him still finds joy in something as simple as flying. However, this is only an opinion...
Thanks for posting this one shot. I enjoyed it immensely. Now I'm off to see if the next chapter of The Song of the Trees is up yet!
Harry was always a bit too impulsive for his own good. :D Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Now he's going to keep running for the rest of his life. ;D
It's very good written story. I really enjoy it. Usually I don't like general fic, but I found this one very interesting. Good job.. :)
what the heck?
Author's Response: My pleasure!
Author's Response: Dory, Aequitas, I'll answer in time, I swear.
Good God, that was amazing. I hardly even know what to say.
Honestly. This is the best piece of fanfiction I’ve read for a long time. I think it’s been almost a year since I’ve written a real review. I won’t blow you away with a long review [which I used to be infamous for, somewhat] but here’s what’s on my mind right now.
First, tone. I think it was one of the best parts of it. I don’t know what it was, exactly, but it was completely your own, not the usual angsty, moody, griping, why-do-I-have-to-save-the-world Harry. It wasn’t funny, it was just ironic. It’s easy to forget that Harry is a person, because he’s got this whole weight of the world crushing him thing, but it was so refreshing to read this. You gave Harry a personality. Thank God for you.
Second, to mention, this whole thing is a work of art. Perfect organization, pace, diction, all those literary things we’re supposed to know about. It never stopped, never faltered, never had a weak point. I wonder if you wrote it as it is, or had it beta’d, because there’s not much you should do to change it. Perhaps I’m a little blinded by bias, but I’m an extremely nit-picky person and I encourage you to keep it the way it is. It is yours, after all, but then there’s the fact that it’s already done.
It’s finished, really. There aren’t chinks to fill in, because you already did with the little things. I love the part where Harry deflected the suggestions of Hermione, Ron and Ginny—I don’t know, I think I like the rhythm of it, but it’s another part of the whole that really filled it in. The lucid moments were perfect too—like when Harry was cleaning his glasses, this quote: Of course, why do things simply when they can be complicated?, Peeves’ cry: “Ooooh, a flying weasel!” and all that.
Also the part where Harry wakes up in the Owlery the morning after. When he was comforting Hermione, what rolled across my mind was, “Uh, this is . . . interesting. . . .” and then Scrimgeour showed up and then that became, “HA! Then reality hits!” Not that I didn’t like that part, but it was a good interlude, only to highlight more what Harry’s life wasn’t going to be. And ugh, that Ginny. I don’t like her particularly, and she did deserve a slap in the face for being all, “Oh, Harry, our future! Let’s frolic together!” Guh. I gagged.
I’m sort of blabbing on, writing what comes to mind, but I hope one thing shines through: I am in awe. Usually writers can do one thing well: the tone, pace, feel of the work, etc. But you did many things well, and seemingly without effort. I think it’s a pity you don’t have time to write more. I still follow Marie-Antoinette, which is brilliant as well. [Oh dear, this is getting long.] I won’t push you to write more, because I know what feels like, but I do want to give you some little ray of light as you’re buried in studying and books: You are, truly, an author.
That was weird...but interesting.
the one thing you forgot to put in here was Delores Umbridge being eaten alive by rabid werewolves. and the Daily prophet, Witch Weekly, the Wizengamot, most of the Aurors and the rest of the Ministry wiped off the face of the Earth. Guess I'll just have to do it now.
in short, I liked it.
Author's Response: Haha. Why not, the possibility for a sequel is always open :). Thanks for the review, I'm glad you liked it.
I’m warning you now – this review is probably going to be very long, because there’s a lot to address with this fic, and I don’t want to miss anything. =) I have to admit I don’t read a lot of Harry fics, and I tend to not even particularly like Final Battle sort of fics (I think this is because of the immense amount of time I’ve spent moderating the General category, in which every other fic is an interpretation of Book 7, and not all are good). As a character, Harry has never been a favorite of mine – a little ironic, considering the books are about him, but I think that’s why I enjoy fanfiction so much. I can read about pretty much whomever I want. But I digress. The point is, this fic isn’t normally one I’d click on, but for some reason, I clicked on it, and I have to say I’m so pleasantly surprised, because this is absolutely wonderful.
The first thing I’m going to say is probably going to seem very nit-picky, but I can’t help it – I’m very picky when it comes to grammar and the like. And for the most part, there isn’t a whole lot I can pick out of this and say, “That’s incorrect,” because you’ve done an excellent job. But there’s one thing – your use of dashes. The thing with dashes is that they are indistinguishable from hyphens if not punctuated correctly. I think the most commonly preferred way of punctuating dashes is to put a space on either side of them. Take this sentence, for example: Seeing Hermione unoccupied–worse, unoccupied and not trying to do anything about it–was a little weird. And compare it to this sentence: It had been everyone-fights-for-themselves, and hex-or-die. The dashes look the same as the hyphens. The first sentence should really look more like: Seeing Hermione unoccupied – worse, unoccupied and not trying to do anything about it – was a little weird.
And now onto the actual fic. The beginning is great – it really draws the reader in, because they’re wondering what Harry doesn’t feel guilty about. The ‘diary’ sort of start to the rest of the fic is also great. It’s a bit humorous the way Harry does it, which is exactly how it should be. Harry’s whole demeanor in this seems to be a little cynical; he’s recounting what has happened, and it’s with a bit of an attitude. I don’t think is out of character. On the contrary, I find it to be very fitting. He’s been through quite a lot (in his life, and in this battle), and to be perfectly…normal, as it were, would be off. He’s bound to be a little different, isn’t he? I think so.
I think the idea of being born again is extremely well-done in this fic. Towards the beginning, you have this line: I feel like I’ve just been born again. Then, later, there’s Harry feeling like he’s finally starting to live. The theme of redemption is a common one in all literature, and it obviously works very well for Harry. I think him feeling like defeating Voldemort is like starting a sort of new life is appropriate. It’s satisfying for the reader as well. If Harry had lived through destroying Voldemort and didn’t feel any kind of redemption…well, that would be just a tad unsettling.
I have a few other tiny things to point out. You continually use the title ‘Minister for Magic’ to refer to Scrimgeour. The correct term, at least the term I’ve always seen, is ‘Minister of Magic.’ Of course, that’s a very small nitpick. And you’ve forgotten a word here: McGonagall and I had already talked about that, and we had come to the conclusion that we shouldn’t let the Death Eaters corner us in a castle, no matter safe it seemed. I believe there should be a ‘how’ after ‘matter’ and before ‘safe.’ Also (yes, this is the part where I point out all the little things and be annoying): My duel with Voldemort is easily the most dangerous trial I ever went through. I think that would be better written as: My duel with Voldemort is easily the most dangerous trial I have ever gone through. I don’t think the way you have it is technically incorrect, but I think using the past participle sounds a little better.
Another suggestion for rewording: From that moment, his moves became slower, and his spells on the other hand went more powerful still. Because you’re contrasting Voldemort’s moves and his spells, I think ‘but’ would work better than ‘and’ for a conjunction here. This sentence caught me eye as well (I promise, I’m almost done): I had been struggling for my own life for too long to suddenly long for the love of others. You use ‘long’ twice in one sentence. Perhaps ‘yearn’ or ‘wish’ could replace the second ‘long.’ And one last thing: spell incantations are usually italicized, and Killing Curse should be capitalized.
Now that I’ve nitpicked everything and probably annoyed you to no end, I’ll discuss more of the fic (I did tell you this would be a long review). I liked the bit where people are trying to help Harry with strategies before the battle. Each strategy really seemed to fit the character; that was some nice indirect characterization, I thought. I also particularly enjoyed this line: I didn’t want to have them waiting; I didn’t want them to realise they were running to their deaths; I didn’t want them to have the time to start panicking. It gives me chills. The whole time leading up to the actual duel is so great. It’s very suspenseful and well-written. Harry cleaning his glasses was a nice touch. It sort of juxtaposes him against Voldemort and makes him seem all the smaller.
I positively love the way you’ve written the duel. I have seen many different interpretations of the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, but this one didn’t seem clichéd at all. Sure, I’ve seen Voldemort speaking in Parseltongue to Harry before, but it’s like once you put everything together, it all ended up very original. Of course, the idea that Harry is Voldemort’s equal is great, because that’s exactly what the prophecy says. Just lovely. I thought Harry’s connecting the duel to Quidditch was an interesting touch. That was some more nice indirect characterization. Oh, and also. The seventh piece of Voldemort’s soul being at Harry’s mercy…chilling in the best way. Great job. And my last comment on the duel goes with this line: Voldemort’s last scream was coming from my lips… That was just…very haunting. Perfect.
I of course have to talk about Scrimgeour. I adore the conversation Harry has with him – I think it’s marvelously in character for both of them. Scrimgeour trying to turn it all around by suggesting Harry used Dark Magic is just…it’s definitely something he would do. And trying to blackmail Harry with the idea that he’s got this duty for the rest of his life was also great. In the books, I think Jo works with the whole theme of an incompetent government and leader very well, and you’ve taken that and used it wonderfully here. Basically – yay Minster bashing! :D And obviously I have to mention Scrimgeour’s murder. Reading through the other reviews you’ve gotten, that’s a bit of a controversial point in this fic. Well, I’m going to say that I rather liked it. I think it’s an original and somewhat refreshing take on what could happen, but it’s not out of character. Yes, it’s a murder – it’s a cold-blooded murder, but the circumstances in which it occurs and the reasons for Harry’s doing it aren’t totally implausible. I think you wrote it excellently, and it’s great to see somebody try something new. I can say that I’ve never that before. ;-)
I have to say that I’m a Harry/Ginny shipper myself, but I wasn’t bothered by Ginny’s role in this. In fact, I think it was well-done. It’s not so unbelievable that she would react that way to Harry killing Scrimgeour, and her talking about the future really gets to Harry. The scene where Harry is arrested is one of my favorites, I think. And then. The end! Wow, it’s so original and creative. I love how you left it. It leaves the reader hanging, but not in an unsatisfying way. You ended how it needed to end. It was just great.
Okay. I think I will stop taking up this entire review page now. I realize I was very nit-picky and also very…er, talkative, but I hope you’ll forgive me. This was a long fic, and I guess I just had a lot to say. I hope my nit-picks don’t bother you. I honestly think this was an absolutely wonderful fic. Excellent job, really. =)
Here am I again.
I so wanted to read a story like this! Where good or bad acts depend on the mind that judge them. It got me from the first line, really.
Moving on to read more of those stories of yours.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I'm very happy you were hooked so easily :). I hope you like the rest of my stories.
I just can't believe how good your ability to make the absurd more than believable is! Yes, I have to admitt, at some points of this, I thought, 'That's impossible! Why the hell would he do that?!' & I think I know that this is definitley not how it's going to end, but this had been mroe fun to read than nearly half of the fictions I read (& I've read quite a lot). I give you thumps up. No, thumps AND toes up. :D
Author's Response: I agree, it will certainly not end like that. I hope it didn't come off as too absurd, though, since I was trying to give an alternative reaction of Harry's while keeping him as IC as possible. But it was refreshing to write, at any rate, and I'm glad you liked it in spite of everything.
Thanks for the review.
I must say I loved the new outlook for Harry's future after the final battle. Happy endings get boring after awhile.
It was a fresh idea and should have been out of character for Harry, but it wasn't. I could see Harry longing for freedom like that. He's been chained to his duties for the past 7 years and just wanted his freedom. I would want some if I had to cater to the world's needs for years.
If you do ever decided to post a sequel, I plan on reading it as soon as it's posted.
Author's Response: Thank you for this precise and good analyse :). I'm especially happy you thought the characterisation was good, since it was the difficult part of this story.
I am not sure I will ever write a sequel, since I'm already struggling with four WIP, but I'll think about it.
That was very odd. I'm not entirely sure I agree with the basic philosophy. He did not have to hurt anyone in order to be free. We choose to ignore peoples expectations if we want to. It's our choice. It was an interesting twist to not tell us where he goes or what he does.
Author's Response: I disagree... well of course I do, I'm the one who wrote the story :). How could he ignore Scrimgeour's expectations when the Minister implied he could blackmail him into doing what he wanted him to do?
Anyway, thank you for the review, excellent as always.
Very nice... It's a bit long, but it's awesome!! I love the duel between Potter and Voldie... I'm a bit sad about Ginny, though, and how he turned out to be a runaway. Same fate as Sirius, eh? ;] Good Job!! I'm a new fan of yours!
Author's Response: Hi, new fan of mine! Thanks for the review. His fate isn't exactly the same as Sirius, since half of the wizarding community supports him. So don't be sad about him escaping, that doesn't necessarily makes him a runaway.
Very interesting. Are we to believe that some of Voldemort's personality was transfered as well. Perhaps some small tiny fragment of his soul survived somehow?
Author's Response: Voldemort's personality wasn't transfered to Harry; nor did any fragment of his soul survived. He abandoned behind him fragments of his mind and power, which is entirely different.
Thanks for the review.
Oh and here's something I forgot to mention, and since we can't edit our reviews, I'll just leave you another one. ^_^
While I was reading this, I was marveling at the fact that Harry seems so in character the entire time. I can totally imagine him saying 'this is it. this is where I refuse to take rubbish from anyone ever again.'
oh, and I GRINNED at the ginny-bashing. Is that evil of me? :D
Author's Response: Thank you so much. Writing OOC is my worst fear as a FF author (that, and the weird French-related typos) and Harry was particularly hard to handle in this fiction.
Don't worry about grinning at the Ginny bashing. I had a nasty smile on my face while I was writing that bit. :)
Whoa. I really loved this. It was so...refreshing.
It's an excellent original idea, the best so far I've heard. It gives the reader a vindictive feeling of satisfaction. While I read this, I felt, 'good. no more nice boy doing everything everyone tells him to.' This story, more than any other I've ever read, actually makes Harry into a man. And I love that.
And also it was well-written and interesting and had a few great funny lines and the ending was excellent. And I was smiling throughout the whole thing. I am having some computer troubles now which prevent me from reviewing longer chapters, but expect my reviews on Song of the Trees soon. :D
Author's Response: Yay! A converted! ;)
Seriously, I am immensely pleased by your reaction, for these are my exact thoughts. Thanks a lot for this review and I'm happy you liked this ficlet. You should enjoy Song of the Trees if you like a more independent and powerful Harry--and if you're not bothered by the Ginny-bashing.
Hmm. Interesting. And different. Very different.
Your writing in this fic is really good, I must say, and so I did enjoy it, even though I don't think Harry would actually kill somone in cold blood, no matter what. Still, it's an interesting concept, and it does make sense that he would never want to give up his freedom. I like how he realizes what his life "should" be like, and how confining it will be - and how he wants to escape, and to get the freedom he should have had growing up. Also, the idea of "reaching the open space", as in the title, is really well-put and is continued very well throughout the story!
There's one thing I'm not sure is a word: "excitation". Did you mean excitement?
Otherwise, this story was definately a worwhile read, even if I don't really agree with the lengths Harry would go to, the funaments are a realistic portrayal of Harry's victory and Harry's character.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, all the more valuable since you don't agree with Harry's actions. I won't try to argue that point (my reply to another review was already overly long); I'll just say that Harry changed a lot since the end of HBP; his perception of life and death changed, and he grew to value his freedom above a lot of things--his friends excluded.
"Excitation" is... Frenglish. *cringes* Thanks for pointing that out, I'll need to fix it.
Just wanted to add that i can see how Harry is more human this way, and more realistic, but I still don't think he could kill anyone! It just goes against his nature as I see him in the books. I don't think that makes him 'godlike' I can see him ticked off (to put it midly) at Scrimgeour, I can see him hexing him, stunning him, screaming at him, but killing? It's just ridiculous to me. I think it just goes against Harry's nature, to needlessly kill. And while this fanfic was refreshing, and very good, I completely and totally disagree.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy the fic, or I don't think it was well-written. I disagree with some of the concepts of your story.
Author's Response: I understood all this in your first review, and though I thank you for the effort you put into this, I really don't see the need of this second review. Anyway... you don't think he could kill anyone? Jeez, that's bad news, how is he supposed to defeat Voldemort without killing him? And those few minutes during which he tortured Bellatrix, or wanted Snape dead and fired the 'Sectumsempra' spell at him, which would have killed him for sure... do you think JKR wrote him OOC then?
Sorry for the sarcasm, but saying I'm writing a character blatantly OOC is the one thing that annoys me. Harry is as IC as he can possibly be in an Independant!Harry story with Ginny-bashing to boot. I don't read stories in which Harry tortures and kills for the fun of it, because I, just like you, thinks it goes against his nature. But those are calle Evil!Harry stories, not Independant ones. Harry has a spine, and though he respects life, he does not shy away from the idea of murdering someone. But then again, my story is about a Harry who is utterly fed up with having the weight of the wizarding world on his shoulders. A Harry who was shaped up from the teenager he still is at the end of HBP into a man craving for freedom, by the horrible events he went through. Harry had to kill several times during the year, as I implied in this OS.And again... needlessly kill? Forgive me, but you completely missed the whole point of this.
Thanks for the two reviews, in spite of everything, and I think we'll have to agree to disagree...
I liked it, especially the part about the battle with Voldemort, but I have to disagree with the casual killing. I can't believe that Harry would ever kill somebody just because they were intensly annoying him. If enough of Voldemort lingers in Harry that he can't help but kill someone if that person is annoying him, then has Harry really won? And I just can't believe that Harry could shrug off the death of Ron, his best friend, so easily. I know that you say that he avenged Ron by killing the Death Eaters, but still, no pain, no loss? It just doesn't seem right. Sorry for the rant. :) It's a great story, I just don't agree with all of it.
Author's Response: Casual killing? Just because they intensely annoyed him? I'm afraid you missed the point of the whole story. The murder of Rufus Scrimgeour is anything but casual. It's cold-blooded, yes. Casual, no. It was motivated by Harry's refuse of being trapped. Voldemort had nothing to do with Harry saying the Killing Curse. I painted here a Harry craving for freedom, and ready to do almost anything to gain what's rightly his; Scrimgeour tried to trap him and transform him into a mascotte. Therefore Scrimgeour had to die; for Harry knew he would never have changed his mind.
You should not forget either that Harry has just been through a dangerous seventh year and a brutal battle against the Death Eaters. His perception over a few things might have changed--and he certainly doesn't shy away from killing anymore, if he has ever done. But if I recall correctly, Harry, in canon, doesn't shy away from the concept of murder. He wants to murder Voldemort. He wants to kill Bellatrix. He wants Snape dead. In this fiction, he carried out his wishes on the one person who wanted to manipulate him again.About Ron: this part of my story is rather clumsily written, I'll have to admit. But you seem to be under the impression that it was Hermione who announced him Ron's death. He knew about it before. He knew about all the casualties as soon as the battle was over; and he grieved for Ron the day before, though probably not as much as he would have if he hadn't been completely exhausted. Again, his perception over life and death has been changed over his seventh year; and Ron has had the best death he could have. To Harry, who almost died so many times alone and defeated, it was an enviable fate.