I think the crucial point here is that, upon finishing reading this, I was shocked to realise that I didn't have enough time to review, but that I was nevertheless determined to seek it out later in order to do so properly. So here I am.
I'll start with the concept. When I found this, I was simply looking for something to read to pass the time, and your summary rather intrigued me. In fact, I can honestly say that this is one of the finest pieces of fanfiction I have ever had the pleasure to read. The story struck a chord in me immediately -- I don't think I've ever read something like this. It is absolutely heart-wrenching; the strength of your writing combined with the moving (and, in my eyes, realistic) depiction of war and how it affected these people and their lives has created something truly incredible. I'm not sure I can find words to tell you how much I enjoyed this.
After surviving a childhood fraught with her twin brothers Fred and George’s pranks and experiments, not much could shake the young witch. Except Harry Potter.
You have some fantastic characterisation here -- one of the many virtues of this story. Your portrayal of Ginny is exactly as I imagine her; she comes so to life through your writing. In this she is no longer an overprotected, insecure young girl, for the reader sees her blossom and find inner strength, and part of what makes this a joy to read is the 'character arc', if you will, which Ginny undertakes. A journey of self-discovery (though that may sound cliche). I don't mean to gush, but I think that I like your Ginny quite as much as J.K.'s -- I love her strength here, just as I love her stubborness in the books.
Ginny's meeting Seamus and Dean, I think, was a turning point in the fic. What I really liked here was that you seemed to be making a point about finding the balance between being excessively affectionate and complete emotional detachment. For Ginny to be strong in such terrible circumstances meant she had to set herself apart, but what I love is the points in which her humanity and that vulnerability (which she retains, to a certain extent, despite everything that has happened) shine through.
“Missus Weasley sent me to fetch you. Said you’d want to see one of these patients. Something about eyes the color of pickled toad?”
Oh, sweet Merlin.
This is just gorgeous. Something lovely and sweet and innocent that seems so incredible after everything that has happened. Even though it isn't much, the reader appreciates how much it means to Ginny, because the fic has allowed us to see everything as she does. It's just so well done.
This story is most certainly a credit to you. Indeed, I find it very difficult to criticise anything in it, which leaves me feeling rather embarassed for having gushed so much throughout this rather than being able to give you any feedback. Honestly, I wouldn't change anything, even if I could find something to pick apart.
Incidentally, my friends and I were recently talking about our favourites here on MNFF -- particularly outstanding stories -- and I was finding it difficult to recommend anything I was truly in awe of. I'm happy to say that today I have finally found something.
Author's Response: Well, Ms Weasley,
First, and a thousand times, thank you for this review, which has made my day, my week, quite possibly my year.
I think my favorite part of your review was to hear that my humble little story struck a chord with you, and that you think so highly of my portrayal of Ginny. She is such a complex and lovely character to write, and so often, I think, authors miss the mark of what she's really all about, so it warms my heart to hear that my Ginny ranks up there with JKR's representation of her.
I am truly so honored that you've chosen my story as one of those that are particularly outstanding in your eyes, and I am glad that you read it.
Thank you, so much, Ms Weasley, for this really remarkable review. I do hope you read my others as well.
So I bawled like a freaking 2 year old... I'm opff to read the 2nd story now.
Author's Response: Oh my goodness! I am sorry that the story made you cry, but I'm glad you went to read the second story! Thanks for the review!
really reall nicely done! I am glad I stumbled onto the first story. I appreciate how well written they are as well as not being ludicrously long.
Author's Response: I appreciate your comments! This was actually the first story, and the other was created for the readers who wanted more. Yes...I see no point in dragging a story on and on just to prove I can write something really long...Thanks for the review!
.....Oh jeez...I nearly cried...that's quite an accomplishment...I never cry...
Author's Response: Oh, I don't want you to cry!! I know I've said it before, but when people tell me that my stories have brought out such powerful emotions, I am truly humbled, and grateful. Thank you for reviewing!
As i told you Awesome!!! writing one of my favourite fan fics !! and i only came across this story by chance coz i usually don't look in the Dark/Angsty section i am soooo glad i came across this story and it's partner story. Keep writting !!
i really like Ginny's involvement in the War.
Author's Response: Thanks for taking a chance on a small town Ohio gal with a story in her heart and a pen in her hand! As I've said before, there is more to come, so keep your eyes open!
that was beautiful, and very original, i mean we never really see ginny doing anything but mope around or go to school after harry leaves. This is much more likely!Luv!
Author's Response: I know...it's frustrating to read stories that reduce Ginny to Harry's arm candy or some one dimensional love interest who cannot function without Harry around. I'm glad I managed to portray a realistic Ginny! Thanks for reviewing
Wow. That was AMAZING. Really, that was one of the best D/A stories I've read. It's brilliant!! I'm honestly crying right now.
I loved how you made Ginny so -- I can't find a word to describe it right now. I really liked the way she treated the patients so indifferently, the part where she saved Dean was especially good. Brilliant idea to put that not-looking-at-the-faces thing, I don't think anyone could handle the faces for long.
This one's a favourite!
Author's Response: Oh Alisa, you are too good to me. As always, i am humbled that I've brought out such powerful emotions in you... I hope I made Ginny, just Ginny. She's fierce and powerful but unsure and scared...in a word, Real. (I hope) Thank you for this review...it made my day.
Even though I wouldn't like it if the story ended that way, this was really good! I like how you pictured Ginny and gave her a twist. Keep up the great work!
Author's Response: Yeah, I wouldn't realy want JKR to keep Ginny away from the action like this, and I don't want Draco to die, but for the sake of this story, it had to be. Ginny is such an amazing character to write; she's one of my favorites. Thank you for reviewing!
Author's Response: Oh, dear! *hands Coozey a tissue* Thanks for the review!
Wonderful! Amazing! Loved! Nice story!
Author's Response: Thank you! I love getting reviews! I'm so glad you liked this story!
Oh wow! that was brilliant! I wish you would continue. That was really good. I had tears in my eyes for the most part reading it. Very good!
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! Now that you've mentioned it, there is a companion piece called The Glow of Sunrise, which will be onsite in a few days, hopefully. If you want more of this story, you should read that one.
really beautiful. The fresh pickled toad bit really made me laugh, although I was close to tears at one point.
Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review! I'm always amazed and humbled when I read that I've brought people to the verge of tears.
Author's Response: Thanks!
Wonderful job! That was a great way to give Ginny a vital role in the battle against Voldemort. I loved what you did with Draco, his scene was fantastic! I was very impressed by the way you showed Harry's victory by Draco whispering "He's done it. . . " and then dieing. Very compelling! I also liked your spells. This was very well written - great first story and good luck with your future writing! ~Gina :)
Author's Response: Thanks Gina! Draco actually plays a vital role in the companion piece, which will be onsite in a few days, hopefully. It was hard to end his role in the story like that, but it seemed to me like he was tired and just wanted to rest.
This was really good. Great job.
Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to let me know! I appreciate people who take the time to review.
OH MY GOODNESS THAT WAS WONDERFUL
I LOVE YOUR STORY!!!!! GREAT JOB
Author's Response: Thank you for saying so! I am so pleased that you loved my story. 'Tis always nice to hear...
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it
You gave Ginny's tenacious nature an amazing outlet. Well done. I really loved your story.
Author's Response: Thank you...I love writing Ginny's character...she's so fierce and passionate but at the same time she's got a kind soul. I'm glad you enjoyed this story!