Ash, this is, in one word, amazing. The tone is wonderfully evocative of the post-war atmosphere, and you handled the first person PoV so masterfully, somehow differently from any other I've read before. In the first few paragraphs, the use of second person plural rather than first person singular sets the tone perfectly, it gives the sense that the person is addressing directly to the reader. You managed to close the little gap the first person PoV usually forms between the character and the reader, so as the reader, I felt that I am the audience addressed by a real person. I very much applaud you in managing that.
The descriptions, combined with such a powerful style of narration, paint an extremely vivid mental picture. It felt almost as though I was watching a documentary where a war-victim spoke as the camera surveyed the post-war scenes - unavoidable destruction, death lingering over the ruins, bodies, monuments and the grief that defines those left behind. Your style makes everything extremely visual, and it is even more amazing because you manage this with little description of the actual scenes. Again, it's very masterful.
The dead paid the price for us, dying so we could live to fight another day, and so we could rebuild the world after the war. ~ This line captured my mind, especially the middle part of it. I found it touching that they died not to save the world or their friends and relatives, but to give them a chance to live to fight. It is a very different perspective, and touches the reader's heart, making everything even more real.
Another thing I noticed is that you didn't write the lyrics in italics. You did a splendid job of blending those lines into the flow of the narration; I would never have guessed those lines were lyrics if you hadn't mentioned it in author's notes. I think writing them in italics would diminish the effect. Great job.
I can only guess that the person who's speaking is Tonks... judging by the mention of Remus in the last paragraph. However, I really like it that you didn't make it obvious. Personally, it made me feel personally connected with this story, particularly because I had done exactly the same thing in one of my one-shots and I really love the effect. I think it allows a little room in the reader's imagination.
Overall, this is a wonderful piece of writing which is yet another proof of your great writing skills.
Hey, another Claude-Michel Schönberg fan! I was looking forward to your story from the minute I saw where you got your lyrics from.
Will a little more destruction make any difference to our lives?
A very good question. I can see the application of this question to current events as well. Contrasting the futures of Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley was a very good touch as well. However, I can see how destroying Knockturn Alley might infringe on people's rights; they're not doing anything illegal, just selling some very creepy and very dark stuff. Unless the new laws prohibit that, which could lead to some problems too. I would think Knockturn Alley would've been incorporated into Diagon Alley rather than destroyed and banned. I could see arguments either way, but I think destroying it and the shops there might cause more conflict than promote peace.
The lyrics of the songs you used probably should've been italicized. It's distracting to have a one-liner that doesn't seem to fit into the story itself to interrupt my reading then a split second later find out that it's actually a song lyric to promote the atmosphere and theme of the story.
Does this make war right, having the right intentions? Does this justify killing?
Again, great questions that are applicable to general situations.
They’ve set up memorials to the dead, and a graveyard set aside for the bodies, a place where we can go to mourn.
I found this to be awkwardly worded. It should be "memorials of the dead." The comma between "dead" and "and" is also unnecessary and threw me off quite a bit. I also think it would've been better if you specified that the memorial and the graveyard were for the victims of the war rather than the dead - "the dead" is such a general term.
Death wasn’t picky who it took, Death Eaters and Order members, wizards and Muggles, young and old, all are represented here.
The comma after "took" should be a semi-colon. Also, you say that Death Eaters are buried alongside the Order. Why is that? Why are they not buried somewhere else, disgraced and their images forever marred. It wouldn't sit well for most of the survivors to have their dead relatives resting for eternity next to their murderers. Note that this is not my opinion - it is just a pattern observed in reality.
Fate spared us, those that are left.
"That" should be "who"; you're talking about people, not objects.
I find it crazy that you foresaw Fred's death. Not many people predicted that.
You have a lot of run-ons in this chapter. Don't separate sentences with commas. Separate them with periods or semi-colons.
Sirius died in the Ministry, in the fight that launched the war, James and Lily Potter died to protect Harry and create a hero.
Run-on. But the second part of the sentence: is it saying that James and Lily died to create a hero? That seems like a weird way of putting it. Perhaps something like "James and Lily Potter died to protect Harry, a hero." And you can't really say James and Lily created a hero since when a hero becomes a hero, especially Harry, is debatable unless you can provide an argument.
We’ve changed since the war, loosing some of our light heartedness and instead becoming graver and more reflective."Loosing" should be "losing" and "light heartedness" should be "light-heartedness." Also, this is a rather depressing sentence, especially after reading the last sentence in this chapter. Is being grave and reflective what it means to be strong or lucky?
Through all the pain comes hope.
While this story was a good idea and explored the future of the wizarding community after the war, I feel that there were parts that just seemed to ramble. A lot of the story was just repeating what was previously said. Make sure that every sentence has a purpose.
wow... that was a good story. Tonks point of view, i assume? but it was also sad. i almost cried at some parts of it... so many died...
Author's Response: Yeah, Tonks. I really should put that in at the end... I felt I had to kill off lots of people though, otherwise it didn't seem realistic. Thanks for the review, I'm glad you liked it.
omg i nearly cried when i read the bit when 'george works hard at his joke shop, in memory of fred' and then ginny! ginny died! noo! but who's POV is it from?
Author's Response: It's from Tonks' POV. I really must put that in an authors note at the bottom... I'll take that as a compliment that you found it sad! Thanks for the review!
Biscuits, (and cookies and cakes and pastries)
You have a really powerful fic over here. The fact that it is written in first person only serves to make this fic leave a stronger impression on the reader than it already does. I haven’t read many fics about the after-effects of war and what a strong impact it has on the survivors, but among those which I have read, I think this would take its place as one of my favourites.
I was a little confused about the identity of the narrator however. Is it Tonks? Or is it an OC you have created? A brief mention in the author’s note should do the trick.
I also noticed a couple of grammatical errors here and there but those can easily be fixed.
The fighting might be over, but the war hasn’t finished yet. Before we can call it over, we have to put the world to rights. We’ve spent the last few years messing it up, and now those that are left standing have to put it back together, piece by piece.
What a powerful paragraph. Gah! This makes me wish that I could write in first person. I really understand the feeling that you are trying to convey here. One thing I am a bit hesitant on is the repetition of the word ‘put’. Perhaps you can use ‘patch’ the second time instead?
I must tell you; this was by far one of my favourite paragraphs in the fic. Especially the line which says the fighting is over but the war isn’t. That is just beautiful!
Some are optimistic about life after the war. They say it’s a fresh page, a new leaf, free from all our troubles of before. I don’t know about that. Nothing can be perfect, however much we want it. And what about all those we lost, all those who cannot be here to help rebuild?
Someone has to pay for their chance to live
I love the metaphors you have used in the beginning of this paragraph. All of them symbolize a new beginning, a chance to rebuild after the war and set the reader into exactly the right mood. Fantastic job!
But you really should have a period at the end of the last line, dear.
I go there, sometimes, and walk amongst the graves. Some I never knew, others were dear to me. Everyone lost someone they knew and cared about. Death wasn’t picky who it took, Death Eaters and Order members, wizards and Muggles, young and old, all are represented here. The grave of a baby, just seven months old, lies next to the grave of a great-grandmother, killed protecting her great-grandsons.
Illustrating your point through contrast, eh? This is a very important tool in writing fiction but unfortunately, it is hardly used. This really helps in terms of imagery and description. The reader knows exactly what the narrator means here.
They are the living reminders of all the good we’ve failed to do
Many live on, unable to cope, not dead, but not quite living either. We’ve failed these people, just like we’ve failed the dead. They suffer worse than the dead, in a way, as they have to live with their pain every day of their lives, until they too die.
This last paragraph reminds me of Eragon, actually. There is a memorable quote there that states that dying for what you believe in is quite common, living and suffering for what you believe in takes real courage. I absolutely love your description in this paragraph too/
Another period at the end of the first line, dear.
I often think there must be a better way than killing. Not everybody sees it that way though, Voldemort was proof of that. Hermione once told me about one of the Muggle wars, when they were fighting someone called Hitler. They tried to compromise with him, but he just kept on fighting and killing, and so they were forced to fight. Most people thought this was the right thing to do, to stop the death he was causing. But is fighting killing with killing the right thing to do?
I heart the Muggle comparison. You have very cleverly given the reader a parallel to relate to and shown Voldemort’s dictatorship in a new light. Also, your last question is something that has been asked for time immemorial. So kudos to you for tackling these issues!
But those that are left will never forget them. We’ve changed since the war, loosing some of our light heartedness and instead becoming graver and more reflective. I know I have, and I’ve seen the others around me change. We are stronger, we are the survivors. No better than those that have died, but we had luck on our sides it seems.
War does tend to have that powerful effect on everyone. I love your description and portrayal of her character here. Wow. (Minor nitpick- ‘loose’ should be ‘lose.)
Overall, I think you have a really lovely fic in your hands. I loved the description and the imagery and all the elements that have gone into making this fic so powerful. Good job!
Author's Response: Wow, what a lovely review! *squishes fellow Gryff* Thanks for the concrit, I'll look at the problems you pointed out again, and you're right, I should put who the narrator is somewhere. Thanks again!
wow good story, it almost made me cry...i thought it was from neville's pov, but at the end it's pretty obvious it's tonks...i really liked this, i think you did a good job really touching on how devastating a war can be for those left to clean up afterwards.
Author's Response: *hands another hankie, just in case* Thanks!
So sad, but then again war is sad and at times inevitable. Well written - I would assume this is from Neville's point of view. Brought a tear to my eye. (sniff-sniff - a hanky if you please)
Author's Response: *hands hankie* A lot of people have said Neville, but it is actually Tonks. War is sad, yeah. Anyway, thans for the review!
This was really sad but I like how it kept an almost positive tone to it. The only person that I could think of it to have been was Tonks. Am I right?
Author's Response: Yeah, it was Tonks, I just had to have both her and Remus survive the war. I'm glad you liked it, thanks for the review.
A telling tale, but who is the narrator? Is it Neville? Luna? That is the most frustrating about this story....there is no formal closure of the story. My reaction is mixed at best...if I knew who was talking, I could better appreciate the gravity of the story and see it afresh.
Author's Response: It's told from Tonk's point of view. I admit it is quite confusing, but that was part of the idea when I wrote it. I know this doesn't appeal to everyone though. Thanks for reviewing though!
Wow! that was so sad. i felt like crying. omg i feel so weird all of a sudden. practically everyone died! *sniff*.
Author's Response: I know, I felt a bit mean killing so many of them off, but I don't think they would have few deaths either. Glad you liked it though!