I'm starting to choke up here...
Okay, at first I thought James’ singing "Sweet Chariot" to Harry was a bit morbid, but now I see why you picked it. So incredibly meaningful now.
"Faintly Harry realized that Voldemort had slipped the photograph into his cloak the night he visited the Potters in a futile effort to claim a piece of the one thing he didn’t understand: love."
Obviously this chapter is just going to be me quoting your lines back at you with my own fangirly flourishes. This idea, that Voldemort carried around a photo of the Potter family for so many years, makes me almost pity him. I think his inability to understand love stemmed directly from his jealously of not having that love either. Granted, Harry and Tom both grew up as orphans. Neither grew up in a home full of love. Actually, Tom probably got better care than Harry ever did on Privet Drive. And yet, Harry was wanted. He was created out of love, where Tom really wasn't. Ha ha, here I go ranting again, but I think this has really brought home a lot of Tom/Voldemort's character for me.
*sniff* Of course I'm heartbroken that Harry dies here. But of course, you can't be sad when Harry is finally where he wants to be: with his family. I of course grieve for the future Harry could have had *coughwithginny* and the family he could have created with those he loved on Earth. But Harry is happy, and thus, I am happy.
Excellent story Beth my dear. And good work on the site this weekend! I'm loving some of the new features (like being able to see my past reviews!)
You have a gift, you know that? For writing the most powerful sentences. And not because they are long, or contain mountainous words, but for their power of imagery and the feeling behind them, for example:
"He learned something about himself tonight, but he didn’t know what it was."
I know a lot of writers that would have drawn out this sentiment and reiterated it so much that it loses a lot of meaning to the reader. Hello, I am a violator of that on so many levels! But you have this uncanny knack for stating something simply and thusly giving it more power.
Sure enough, Harry spotted a star in the distant sky growing closer and closer. In the silence of Godric’s Hollow, he could here a rumbling noise that grew louder. Harry squinted; it looked as if it was a…motorcycle.
"here" should be "hear"
You've used the word "cacophony" twice now, the first time in the previous chapter. I guess it's only noticeable if you read them right in a row. It's a good word, just thought I'd point it out.
Dumbledore smiled sadly. “You didn’t destroy the Horcruxes, remember?”
Fate had the upper hand once again.
Bwahahahaha! I LOVE IT! because, I myself was fooled there! Ha! We think it would have been so easy for Harry to take care of everything in the first place, but this fateful Halloween wasn't the first place. Thank you Beth for a fantastic twist at the end there! This is why I admire you so much!
Excellent chapter. I liked that it was heartfelt and emotional, without being overbearing or sappy. And I guess it kind of answers the question: Why does Dumbledore have Hagrid take Baby!Harry to the Dursleys... Because Dumbledore had to get Adult!Harry back to his own time. And excellent answer to my time-line question about how Harry was going to get back.
On I go...
Well, Beth Love, here I am, reviewing again as promised. My goodness you've written a lot since the last time I checked in. Please accept my many apologies. Although I did have a good laugh looking at a few of my old reviews!
So, of course, I'm an addict to the "what-if" storylines around here and I found this story particularly enticing! The scene you described wove perfectly his grief and determination. This is such a Harry thing to do.
I at first was irked that the Order would stand around and watch Remus be tortured by Bellatrix. But then I thought maybe they were in the house and Remus was outside... like maybe she waited outside for him? A sentence or two to clear that scene up would be great.
Also my character-age alarm started to go off. If Harry is seeing Ron the night Harry is killed, Ron would be nearly 20 months old. But I don't know, I guess babies under two can still be called infants. But I loved the bedroom decoration, something that would definitely have been chosen for Ron and something he would be horrified to admit.
I absolutely love the line, "The songs of a family." Absolutely beautiful in it's simplicity and imagery. I can see why Harry would just sit and listen. Not just because it's his own family, but because it's a family filled with love, unlike the home he grew up in.
I particularly enjoyed the paragraph of images that flash through Harry's thoughts. Of meeting Ron, saving Hermione and Ginny... All favorite moments in the HP series and even though Harry could change everything, I don't think he could honestly get rid of these.
"But would make a difference? Fate had a funny way of having her way in the end."
Should read: "But would it make a difference?"
And to finish with my rant. Fate, does have it's own way. Maybe if Harry had killed Voldemort, his parents might actually have died in a car accident a week later. That's the funny and horrible thing about life, you just don't know when your time (or your parents' time) is up. Harry might still have ended up at the Dursleys.
So many people would have left the story here. A lovely little one-shot showing how Harry, given the opportunity, would not change the course of history. The End. So I am thrilled to see that there are two more chapters. I can't wait to see what you have in store for me next. Personally, I want to know if Harry is stuck living out the next 16 years waiting to get back (awww... the confusion and joy of time-travel). It would be very interesting to watch yourself grow up. Although, if you're watching Harry Potter grow up, I think that would be very painful.
Okay, so I'm finished rambling here for the moment. More rambling in the next review. Promise.
Wow. I was definitely not expecting it to start this way!
He couldn’t see their expressions anymore, but the sheer sorrow that traveled with their voices rippled through his spirit.
What a beautiful turn of phrase. And I love how the voices change – enemies, friends, and then his family.
It’s sad to me that Harry feels that he hasn’t been happy since visiting Godric’s Hollow, that he belongs among the dead, but it’s sweet. I like how his friends and family greet him; and it’s wonderful how Harry sees his body smiling a little in death – going home.
Voldemort took the photo? Interesting. This is a much more introspective Voldemort than we’re used to. It’s a cool touch.
And I love the ending song. Oh, of course -- Coming for to carry me home.
I am surprised, yet not surprised, by the way Dumbledore reacts to finding seventeen-year-old Harry at Godric’s Hollow. It seems fitting to me.
Upstairs, his mother, one motionless hand, as if stopped in mid-caress, resting lovingly on a sleeping child, now marked with a jagged scar.
What a beautiful image. I love it. (I think, though, that that should probably be “rested”.)
He learned something about himself tonight, but he didn’t know what it was.
So true! I find myself thinking that often. Poor Harry’s just seen and done more than he should ever have had to – and this is besides his earlier guilt and burdens.
“I’d hate to imagine what damage it may do to you in the future, if you should have dreams of seeing yourself.”
It seems like Dumbledore knows that the experience will give the baby nightmares – omniscient!Dumbledore strikes again. Still, he’s faced death so many times that he probably has a good idea of how this trauma might affect the poor kid.
Good characterization with Hagrid. If he broke down like that when giving baby Harry to the Dursleys, I can only imagine how he might have fallen apart upon learning that James and Lily were dead.
Dumbledore leaned against the doorframe and, when Harry looked up, seemed so tired and mournful.
Earlier, it struck me as odd that Dumbledore was able to speak in a “light” tone, but he makes much more sense in this chapter as a whole. He can face death lightly if he has to, but he is still human and does still suffer as such. I would have expected a bit more sadness/regret (after all, he was trying harder than almost anyone to protect the Potters), but I’m glad this part is there. (The very end works really well.)
“And for you to face Voldemort in the end, Harry, you must accept death.”
O.o That seems like direct foreshadowing from DH, and I know this wasn’t written then. Good job capturing one of Dumbledore’s core philosophies.
Great ending! I totally forgot about that. I like Dumbledore’s last look, and I love the last line. If Harry had “killed” Voldemort, he would have a) changed his whole future and b) in a completely unpredictable way. Interesting.
One of the things I like best about this story is the fact that the time-travel isn’t a big deal. You use it, but it’s isn’t a big deal – you keep it very much about Harry and his growth without letting what might seem like the “real plot” from distracting the reader. Good job!
Hello, SPEW Buddy! Man, I like this story! I don’t know why I haven’t seen it before.
The post-HBP history you’ve written is chilling. It’s not so much the additional deaths, but your description of it.
Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Ginny’s furious expression as she insisted she go along with him, Ron, and Hermione. Remus and Tonks’ engagement party.
The happy times….
Bill wouldn’t have been so deformed. Hagrid wouldn’t have been reduced to the soulless shell he was now.
…and the hard times. Plus, of course, Remus. His death is terrible, yet still so noble – and I love that the Order members poured out to save/avenge him, despite the fact that it blew their cover.
There are a couple of grammatical things in that part:
Harry heard Hermione beside him choke back a sob and Ginny farther away lead the shaking Tonks away from the scene outside the window.
That part about Ginny leading Tonks away is phrased a bit oddly. Maybe you could say that Harry heard Hermione, but saw Ginny and Tonks, since it’s hard to hear someone being led away anyway.
… Remus falling neglected but never forgotten on the hard concrete.
This was the other part. I’d suggest a couple of commas and maybe a slight rearranging of the words: “…Remus falling, neglected but not forgotten, on the hard concrete.”
Poor Harry. I suppose he’ll always feel a little responsible for all of this. He is, as Dumbledore points out, remarkably selfless, and with that comes some unnecessary feelings of guilt and responsibility.
He never ceased to think about all the deaths he had been responsible for; his frequent nightmares never let him forget. Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore, Remus, his parents.
I was a little confused about how many times he flipped the Time-Turner. I know it says one for each hour since that fateful day, but I was thinking from the day of Remus’ death. It’s an awful lot of hours, sixteen years – just seems a bit impossibly long.
I love Baby Ron’s bedroom – “Nille the Puff”. Hee! And Molly shouting from downstairs: “Fred! You give back Percy’s costume now!”
Murmuring an apology to the wide-eyed Ron….
That just made me laugh. It’s such a cute picture: sixteen-year-old Harry awkwardly muttering to a surprised, curious baby. As a side note, I’m curious to know why Harry knows what Ron’s room is going to look like – childhood stories, I assume?
I also love the photos on the Potters’ mantle, especially the last one. They’re so sweet and paint such a delightful picture of the happy family; it really puts more pressure on Harry’s mission here.
“I can’t help but wish we were a normal wizard family, not for our sakes but for Harry’s.”
That, plus the dish-washing, makes me wonder if they’re pretending to be Muggles. Poor James and Lily; there was really nothing they could do, once Peter betrayed them.
”Dumbledore told us our Harry was different and would probably always be different.”
That’s intriguing. I wonder why Harry will “always” be different? Maybe it’s only as long as Voldemort lives? Or does Dumbledore have some idea that Harry will live past his parents? Okay, I’m probably reading too much into this now.
Blue light seeped through the blinds of the windows; Voldemort was already working through the guards on the door. James kissed his wife on the forehead. “Go! Think of Harry! Go!” He and Harry watched as Lily let out a sob and scrambled up the stairs.
Aw. It’s Lily I feel the most for here – she essentially has to choose between her husband and her baby. There wasn’t much she could have done for James, while she can maybe do something for Harry (obviously, she did), but she still had to leave James, knowing that he was going to die alone. And I like how you said that both James and Harry watch Lily go. It brings our attention back to Harry and the situation he’s put himself in.
Harry has some interesting stuff going on, from here to the end. First, he tries to kill Voldemort but can’t. He was able to do nonverbal magic earlier; is his failure now because he can’t speak the words or because he doesn’t mean it enough? It is still killing, though it is Voldemort.
Then he decides not to try again, and lets Lily die. I’m not sure I understand his character here. He made the “rash” decision earlier to time-travel period; now he lets his mother die? I know that he thinks through this one, but it’s not very consistent with his earlier actions. Each situation makes sense, but they string together oddly.
Is Harry still under the Cloak? I don’t understand why Lily can see him. I do, however, love that she does. In that one moment, it’s like she sees her grown-up son and understands what she’s doing, why she’s doing it, and that he will grow up okay.
I picked on this story quite a lot, but I still really like it. I hope I didn't give you a negative impression. I’m going to go read the rest of it!
that was one sad sad story but i loved it.
this is so good. i wanted to cry at the end of this. i love your stories!
this is so good. i wanted to cry at the end of this. i love your stories!
This is a great fanfic. It is passionate, strong, and very sad. And- I know this was completed pre-DH- it reminds me of "The Forest Again" and "King's Cross".
"He was not really fetching them: they were fetching him"
That was so sad! I'm glad Harry found Happiness at the end.
Aww. That was really good! I'm in tears! It was sad but great! Good job!
Thanks for the quick update.
But that what I was thinking in the first chapter.
About the Horcruxes and all.
But anwyas great chapter.
I can't wait for the next one!
what did ' dumbledore mean bye this .” At Harry’s quizzical look, Dumbledore smiled sadly. “You didn’t destroy the Horcruxes, remember?” what does it mean email me at email@example.com
Author's Response: Harry could not have killed Voldemort that night even if he tried since he didn't go back to destroy the Horcruxes first.
Good second chapter. sorry i can't give a better review but at least the review count goes up!
This story was great! It kept me on the edge off my seat.
Very Dramatic (in a good way, not melodramatic)! It made feel as if I was in there. Good Job!
I liked it, it was very well written.
I really liked it!
Is there more? Or was it a one chapter thing?