Wow... my 4 day marathon of being up until nearly 3am is finally over (too soon though, and I'm sure I'll be up that late tomorrow reading something else!), and I've loved the story! I can't believe this was your first fic! I thought the story flowed really well, although a few parts were a little predictable - as soon as you had Harry enter the Riddle House I was wondering who was going to die 'for him' this time. However I really liked how you brought Anne into the story, although she wasn't my favourite character. She was very well written, and it was nice to see Albus getting his chance of happiness and companionship after his lonely portrayal from the beginning.
This was the first chaptered fic I've read set in this time period, and I loved the characterisation of James, Lily, Albus, etc... My favourite was Hugo though, and I'd have loved to see more of him. You've taken the maximum out of the snippets we have from Rowling's epilogue about Harry's kids, and made them entirely believable. The rest, I suppose you could almost treat them as original characters given pretty much the only things we know about them are their names and parents! Yet even with that, they still seem like they could be descended from the characters we know so much. Rose could possibly have been a bit more like Hermione, since one of the only canon things about her comments on her having inherited Hermione's brains. I'm not sure about Harry's characterisation. You did a great job of keeping him into the character you created, but it often bothered me. True, he would never be the perfectly happy, carefree man many of us would love him to be, but I think he would have been able to let go a little more. Then I think some of the language just seemed a little out of keeping with his canon appearances (for lack of a better word, for his appearances were really 7 books!). That said, that's just how I picture him as an older man, and you obviously had different ideas, which were really well portrayed. Appart from that, I thought Ron might have been around more, since the story concentrated a fair bit on Harry, and then Ginny... For some reason she seems to be one of the hardest to reproduce in a fic, and this was a really good job of it, but THEY SPLIT UP? I got enough of a shock when you revealed she was an alcoholic! I couldn't imagine her having so little faith, or them having so many seriously heated arguments over the years... Ron and Hermione maybe but Harry and Ginny? Oliver bugged me a little as well with his drunk sprees and hot temper, but then that's only really because I liked him so much in canon. Anyway, it was still really well written and I loved reading it.
I didn't mean for that paragraph to go on for quite so long... Anyway, thank you so much for not letting Lily off without punishment!!!! When reading that chapter, I spent the whole time hoping James would be freed, and that you would please please please not play the ever-irritating game of letting everything go unpunished because of the story and characters we love. Yes it would have been nice, but thank you so so much for being realistic! (And not being too harsh on her ^.^) Katie was probably my favourite unexpected twist (the first time you had Harry visited her I was desperately trying to work out who it was), and I'd never have paired her with Draco, but it sort of worked, especially when you show us what a cow Astoria was. I loved Mira with her total innocence, and cringed when she asked about her Dad at the funeral, but I'm so glad she's got Harry to look after her since Katie went. I was almost glad (and at the same time really schocked and upset) that she died, as I couldn't really see how she was going to get out of it. Harry I could see surviving, both from his emotional problems and from being stupid enough to make that diary (incidentally, I loved all the little details you carefully gave us about James' cell), but you never portrayed Katie with that strength, so again, thank you for being realistic and making the harsh but necessary twists.
Overall, I enjoyed the fic more than most, and it was lovely to read a properly sized chaptered (and finished) new generation fic! There really aren't enough around...
And finally, I had so say... HE BURNED DOWN A HOUSE THAT STILL HAD OTHER PEOPLES' THINGS IN IT?! I know it was his house.... but I doubt his family are going to be happy with him!
Oh, the simultaneous pleasure and pain of all night reading binges. I've been on a week-long Alexandra Quick binge (which I completely recommend, btw; fantastic world building and character formation).
First of all, thank you for taking the time to leave such a detailed, thoughtful review. Seldom do people even stop in and say a few words, but you've gone above and beyond in this one. Thank you for that. I will admit, this is definitely not my favourite story I've written, and I do plan on (soon) heavily rewriting it to fix some of the very things you brought up. A lot of things will change, but the groundwork of it will be fairly similar.
My portrayal of Hugo and Rose is actually the opposite of most people. I have Rose being the wilder child, the one who gets into the most trouble, and Hugo is the one who is more academic and steadfast. That is why he became acting Head Auror at the age of 29. However, what I never wanted to lose was the knowledge that either one of them would do anything for family, and they did. This story is centered around the characters doing things they ought not be doing for the sake of their family.
The decision to limit Ron and Hermione's involvement was actually planned, albeit poorly on my part. In my head canon universe, Hermione is very, very high up in the Magical Law Enforcement, and Harry didn't want to put her in the position of having to choose between her loyalty to the Ministry and her loyalty to Harry, as he knew that the things he was doing were going to stray into the realm of anti-regulations. And, of course, if he told Ron, Ron would tell Hermione. In retrospect, I think Hermione and Ron would always choose Harry's side. The reason why Scorpius was involved as a MLE agent was basically that he owed Harry a favour, as Harry had basically got him his job, and Scorpius was far enough down on the totem pole that his actions could be considered following orders rather than disregarding them should any of Harry's illicit actions in finding his daughter come to light. Fred was a subordinate of Harry's and couldn't very well be in trouble for doing as his boss commands. And Albus would not have been kept away if raging hippogriffs were trampling him.
There are some rather cringe-y moments in this story, such as Ginny in, oh...the first 2/3 of the story. If I could do it all over again, I would smash that whole sideplot with a giant, flaming comet. It was ill-conceived in general and OOC. I stick by my portrayals of Katie and Oliver, though Draco was a bit off from what I had envisioned. Badly translated, and so forth.
The one thing I won't apologise for is Harry. I think Harry is one of those people who has to be relevant, has to be doing *something* to make a difference, which is why he's so suited to being an Auror. But we know him from canon as someone who is very capable of making plans that blow up in his face. In this story, Hermione could've very easily come up with something while setting aside her personal feelings. We know Harry has a problem with being dispassionate. Most of the times, it's a character strength, but in times of strife, it probably ended up costing Draco his life. But more than anything, Harry had a rough, rough life as a kid and an adolescent. Jo never touched on it, but there are a myriad of psychological disorders that spout from things like that. I do think it could impair his ability to lead a mundane life as someone who grew up in, say, a standard nuclear family. I won't say he doesn't know how to be happy, but I do think there are a number of things that make a happy, healthy relationship that he would not know and/or severely f*ck up. Most of them, I think Ginny would forgive him for them. Some of them, no one should get a free pass on them.
Okay, so I've been banging on about characters and plots etc, and I'm glad you found a nugget of the real world in them. I guess I don't care for stories that turn the Potter/Weasleys in the Brady Bunch. They are a war-ravaged family that had to scrape themselves out of the dirt and carry on. They would, in my estimation, never come out of that completely whole. But the last thing you brought up makes me giggle. To be honest, I just threw that in there as I was finishing the chapter, mostly to signify that this chapter of their lives had come to a close and a new, probably harder one was about to begin. Yes, Harry burned down the house. No, I don't think it was a brilliant idea. He was drunk and in pain and feeling guilty as hell for causing Draco's demise. I think the house, to him, signified all the broken relationships in his life and at that moment, he just wanted to watch it burn. In my head canon, the important documents like birth certificates etc were kept in a super duper mega safe, and all the kids had moved out anyway. Ginny had moved out most of her things. Most of what was left was just stuff. What has Harry ever cared about *stuff*? I'm not sure if that detail will make the rewrite, but I did have a reason for it. A bad one, I think, but a reason nonetheless.
Wow, what an epic review. I think I probably missed most of your points, so if I did, feel free to email me or poke again. Thank you for reading and reviewing. Your review was very good because it made valid points and included some of the not-so-good points about the story, which is more appreciated than you know. I'm happy that you enjoyed the story. Personally, knowing the things I'm capable of writing now, this story makes me cringe a bit, but it will always be special to me because it represents me finally finding a passion for something in my life.
OH MY GOSH! I just had like a major breakthrough moment. My jaw dropped, and I was all like, "GREGORY!!!" I think my previous theory about the rape may be incorrect because of his comment a few paragraphs before the end, but then maybe that's just a one-sided Slytherin view, hmmm??? VE SHALL SEE!!!
Annnnd there it is.
You're getting a lot closer to the set up of the end game. By now, if I don't suck as a storyteller, you should be having a lot of wild theories as to where this is going, how it'll shake out, and more importantly, how we got here. All will be revealed in time, my friend. <3
Thanks again for reading/reviewing.
OMG, so I figured it out. Goyle raped Lily, which is why James killed him. Is that right? Hee, I love how you call him 'Diary Dad', and I like the whole idea, although the ending of this chapter bothered me. Urgh, James is gonna end up killing his dad by using the diary. OMG yes.
Is it wrong that your angst over this simultaneously warms my heart and amuses me? It probably is, but that's how I roll. I will not, of course, be confirming or denying any of your theories, as you will find out all in good time. What happened between Lily, James, and Greg will be revealed in due course in about six or so chapters, so hang in there. :)
Thanks for reading and for reviewing!
Seriously good, although I hope we get to see why he did it... Oh wait, of course we will! That's why it's in there!
Yes, you will indeed find out James's secrets in later chapters, plus a whole lot of other stuff, so stay tuned. Drama ahoy! Enjoy the rest of the story. It was my first ever on MNFF. :)
What a great book! I call this a book because that is what it is. You took the characters of JKRowling and brought them 35 years into the future. I was totally caught up in the story especially the way you brought Draco and Harry together. These characters are iconic and I enjoyed the way you took them and brought them in and out of crisis. The struggles between Harry and Ginny was well written. It was hard to read but it showed that this is part of real life. I also liked the way you brought in the Deathly Hallows specificllly the Resurrection Stone which every one thought was lost when Harry dropped it before facing Voldermort. The interaction between the Wesley family, the Malfoy family, the Black family and the Potter family as well as Greg Goyle and how they all were affected by the Dark Lord. You did a great job with both the content and the structure of the book. You are a talented writer and I hope you keep writing
I'm so flattered by this review, hehe. You may have inflated my head a bit, to be honest. The thing is that this isn't my best work by any stretch of the imagination in terms of writing quality, but it's a story that I loved enough to slog through my still-sprouting authordom and finish it off. This story started my love affair with writing fanfic. Of course, I do have 70 other fics and poems a year and a half after finishing this story, but I do feel a sense of nostalgia when I think of TVoJP and how it started this whole thing.
Thank you very much for this review. I forget that people still read this fic, and it's nice to know that something far at the bottom of my author page can still bring someone enjoyment.
Wow. When I woke up this morning I was not planning on sitting here for three hours finishing your story. I feel absolutely exhausted but don't regret it for a second. You have used characters, some of which we think we know well and otehrs we know nothing about, and put them through hell and back and then through hell again. And everyone is basically behaving the way they are for someone else. Apart from Goyle junior not one of them behaved selfishly, even Goyle senior was behaving the way he was because he thought Lily had hurt his son unprovoked. I like the way Harry's hero complex is explored and eventually, it turns out the one person he cannot save is the person who doesn't want to be saved. It was one thing that really irritated me about DH that Harry, through all he's been through, never actually kills someone but your story makes his attitude to death and the idea of killing someone really, really clear. The moment, I think in the last chapter, where Lily said that she was not sure whether she would, given her time again, kill Goyle or not, and Harry simply does not know how to deal with it.
This is longer than HBP?
The epilogue was really, really good but I can see why you spent so long agonising over it, because it must be difficult to finish something like this on the right note. I think the two contrasting images of Lily's baby (brilliant name choice- if I may so myself- though I'm sure you know Alexander lit. means "defender of mankind" so its' clear that whilst this is a new start, it's also going to be influenced by the events of the past) being born and Katie dying were perfectly chosen. IThe burning building emphasised her death all the more. When something that awful happens, whether having to watch/ aid someone die and not be able to do anything about it, or know that a child and a pregnant woman were tortured and mistreated in such a place, then in a way burning it down is the only logical reaction. I love the way that your story, whilst very dark at times, is ultimately a celebration of family bonds (as, I think the last line of the last chapter proves) and Ginny and Harry's relationship will always be close as family even if they cannot be together any more, it is also a very, very realistic depiction of Romantic love without seeming overly fluffy or unrealistic.
Whilst initially I sympathised with Ginny drinking herself away from her problems, by the end she was behaving in a completely understandable way, but also one which Harry did not deserve. However her going to prison with her daughter was a show of her regret, and her desire to redeem herself.
Thank you so much for writing an excellent story! You write very well and I hope you enjoyed writing this (I'm sure you did) as much as I enjoyed reading it.
This story was my first real accomplishment in writing. Sure, it has its rough spots, and the prose itself starts off pretty diabolically, but it's the point where I figured out that I know how to tell a story and to get the reader vested in the outcome. Using that, I wanted to make people believe in the way I saw Harry, that he doesn't piss sunshine and fluffy rainbows. He's flawed, often thoughtless, and doesn't trust others as much as he should. Ultimately, who he was ended up ruining his life, and he took a couple others down with him -- Draco, Katie, and the sort of innocence that James lost while he was locked up. I fleetingly dabbled with the idea of killing Harry instead of Draco in Chapter 21, but I think that would've been unfair to the people who ended up being collateral damage in Harry's ill-conceived scheming.
Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed the intensity and the heavy themes in this very loooooooong story. You understood what I wanted to portray, and getting the intended message across is the goal of any writer, as you know. Thank you so much for your stellar reviews; they really make all the hours I put into writing this story very worth it.
Haha, now you can sleep normally. :D
God. I don't think I've ever used the phrase "emotional roller coaster" before because it's so cliche, but it fits your entire story, but particularly this chapter, so perfectly I have to. (Just read your response to the last chapter I reviewed. Slaughtering Ginny's character- yes. You have. Brilliantly). I had so much to say, but from the moment Ginny said she didn't want a divorce (sigh of relief) to Harry saying he did (which was really understandable but I didn't see coming at all) to them having sex (which isn't healthy, but at the same time understandable) I was on the edge of my seat, eyes pressed to the lap top.
One thing that I find really brilliant is your different portrayals of people in love. Like the scene between James and Augusta was simply lovely, but at the same time Ginny and Harry after thirty odd years are getting a divorce even though they love each other. Anne and Albus are moving so quickly, that, if you did not counterbalance their relationship with others built over time, or in a state of collapse than I may have - not lost interested because your plot is too good, but lost belief in what you are trying to show. If that makes sense. But because you do- and the line about being in love is not always enough. Whilst it's been said many times, it's been said because it's true, unlike all those sayings about "true love conquers all" etc and it fits perfectly in your story. I was so relieved when everything began to happen within the bounds of the law. However there are a few chapters to go, so I'm guessing the fall out from this will continue.
Yes, ex sex is nearly always a bad idea, but I think they both needed that. The one thing that the angry Harry/Ginny shippers who read this story didn't understand is that they didn't get divorced because they hated each other; it happened because they had lost the ability to trust one another. Look at Harry leaving Ginny out of the loop as to what was happening with Lily. Yes, he should have told her that Lily was missing, but he didn't know -- even after decades together -- how she was going to take it. When a person has no idea how their significant other will react to certain news after that long, then it's but one indicator of a broken relationship.
As I said in the Mature Content discussion on the forums, I write adult themes, and this sort of family drama is a part of adult life. I think some of the non-believers in the latter chapters of this story just didn't understand that (I think one reader even demanded that I get them back together).
Anyway, on to your next review. I'm glad you're enthralled enough to sacrifice sleep, lol.
Although I really shouldn't, I know I'll finish this story in the next day or two.
Greg's punishment was perfect, and it was very clever of James to think of that. Seeing Crabbe must have been heart-breaking, and for the first time in this story you made me if not pity Greg, at least feel some empathy with him.
The scene between Scorpius and Harry was beautiful. I love the line "his father’s death was not a meaningless one. Unwarranted, yes, but never meaningless." It just expresses perfectly how Draco died.
Your characterisation of Harry has been so well done. His need to help everyone, his tendency to blame everything on himself -- it's all there in JK's Harry, and years of working and now having his family torn apart have just exacerbated them. But that's the thing- the family, whilst the individuals have been battered and bruised still love each other. That bond has not been broken, and this proves that it never will be.
Harry's in a complete state of collapse in this chapter and by God, was that a horrible twist when James had to reveal himself in order to get his father to St. Mungos. But of course he had to.
How long did it take you to plot this? It's got so many twists and turns- did you know how it was going to fall out at the beginning or did it all happen like this?
You know, this story just CAME to me. I didn't struggle with it until I got into the very late chapters and epilogue. I guess I had the vision of it right from the start, and save for a couple little tweaks and baubles, it stayed pretty close to what I had meant it to be.
Shiny, happy Harry, to me, cannot and does not exist post-battle. One cannot simply DIE, wake back up after a quick little chat session, and go on with life like there was nothing else that one could do. I'm sorry, fluff monsters, but I can't, with what I understand of humanity, believe that for a minute. This is why, when I portray a post-Hogwarts Harry, he is often haunted and wrought with an over-developed sense of duty. It fits his personality and his circumstances, and I'm glad you agree. You would not believe the amount of crap I get from some readers becaue they refuse to believe that Harry can be this screwed up.
Read on. The next chapter should be interesting (minus my slaughering of Ginny's character :X).
As desperate as I am to read the next chapter, I have to review this one. You killed Draco! How could you? And in such a perfect way. I think in many ways that is exactly how Draco wanted to die, because it's a clear sign to the world that he has changed.
So many times during this chapter I swore aloud. When Anne used the Cruciatus curse (which you planned perfectly because Moste Dark Magicke is one of the only magical books she's seen), when Draco died, when, just as Goyle was getting handed to the Aurors I thought everything was going to be all right and then realised it was Barnaby.
I loved the moment when Scorpius almost killed Goyle. The dialogue between him and Anne perfectly described just how close he was to doing it, but then had the strength of character not to. The distinction between 'law' and 'justice' is one which I think all the Potter/ Weasley clan saw as incredibly clear and obvious at chapter 1, but, despite their best efforts, is becoming rapidly more blurred. And what's Harry's secret? Who is the woman? I need to read on!
Hehe, I was wondering when you'd find Draco dead.
Draco was always going to die. From the beginning of the story, Harry has had the arrogance to assume that he can handle this situation via his own agenda, and time and time again he is proven wrong. It was only fitting that the one person who had worked the hardest to be a better man, ironically because it was Harry's testimony which had given him the chance to do that, would be the one to pay the price for it. Harry could deal with dying for a member of his family, maybe even someone he'd never even met, but having yet another person be murdered because of him... he's lost his ability to cope with that. The worst part, though, is that he set it all in motion. He knew what Lily did, and more importantly, what James DIDN'T do, yet he decided to play god and shirk the law. Had he not done any of that, none of this would have happened, including Draco's death.
If any normal human being was faced with the one who murdered a close family member and handed a gun (well, in the Potterverse, a wand), many people would be surprised and disturbed by how close they would come to pulling the trigger. Most wouldn't, but that couldn't be an easy decision to make. That struggle had to be apparent.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the story. This is where it gets kind of, er, convoluted.
This is going to be a horribly random review as I'm basically reading chapters between essays. I thought Anne and Albus might have something at the beginning of the chapter but I didn't expect things to happen THAT fast. Albus is very sweet. I really, really like Albus. I love the way he's getting more confident and his reaction to finding out about Lily was completely understandable. I love the way they are all really, really close. And Albus' conversation with Draco after he found out about Lily was very honest and awkward and really, really well-written. Poor Draco. I told you it would be horribly random but I'm thinking I might as well read this all tonight because it will just be distracting me otherwise so I'll be spamming your inbox with review notifications. Hope that's all right. One little, very minor point- surely Scorpius should quote Draco as saying "kiss his arse?" I know it's fifty or whatever years in the future but I hope that British alternative hasn't died out. That was another thing- I was really surprised the hospital trusted Lily to a priest, given there aren't that many monasteries still active in Britain and presumably even fewer by next-gen time, so I assumed he'd Confounded/ memory modified the doctors into trusting him, even though being a priest doesn't automatically give one the trust it once did. I thought when anne came to Rose's and Scorpius' this meant he hadn't done anything to her, but maybe he has? I hope not, and I'm just reading way too much into this. Arrgh. Rambling. Will read and review soon, Alex x
The thing with Albus (which will be more apparent in later chapters) is that his personal life is a bit... different. There are mitigating factors regarding how this came to be, which are touched upon by another story I'm *trying* to finish at some point, but the short of it was that as a teen, he fell for his best friend (yeah, Albus plays for both teams). When he found out that Scorpius preferred Rose romantically, something inside of Al shut down, and this new, almost robotic person took his place. He became cold toward romance in general and treated sex like some sort of rudimentary bodily function, like scratching an itch or yawning -- not to be given a second thought. He never once noticed that there were girls and maybe even guys who would have loved for him to give them a chance, but he was too steeped in his desire to forget about his own melancholy over Scorpius that he couldn't be bothered to notice the trail of broken hearts of the women he'd slept with while trying to accomplish that.
Anne is a different story. She is, as described, a very beautiful girl. But with that comes a measure of disappointment, because beautiful girls are often pursued by all the wrong reasons, and by the time said girl realises that the person she's with only wanted her because she was hot, her heart had already been broken. There are only so many times this can happen before she becomes a bit jaded about relationships in general. This is why she and Albus clicked so fast; they were almost kindred spirits, two people burnt in relationships in some fashion to the point where they almost too cynical for anyone else.
You're indeed right about the priest thing. Hey, Goyle's a twisted man who kidnapped a pregnant girl, so naturally he's not above Confunding some hospital staff.
And I do apologise for the Briticism. There are a lot of those in this story, as I wrote most of it before I even knew what a Briticism was, lol. I'm working on that in my giant editing scheme.
Thanks for your review, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story. I don't know what chapter you're on, but I'm assuming it's in the late teens. Giant plot development ahead: proceed with anticipation.
Jess! I can't wait for Draco and Albus to head to Azkaban. I love your characterisation of Draco. He has changed completely and that is completely natural but is still haunted by the actions of his father. I loved the dialogue between him and Albus. It worked really well.
Maybe it's just because I've heard so many things about your story, but I did expect Goyle to turn out to be a -- and rapist, but the way you described it, jumping form James' memory and then slipping into Lily's pov was beautifully done. I think you needed to make it graphic. It makes us sympathise with Lily all the more. And James is a fantastic brother. I loved the line "the man was a monster and did not deserve to live, but did he deserve to die?" It's a very subtle distinction but a good one.
I also like the way James morality means that he feels someone has to be punished. Personally I would have covered everything up, which makes James of course a much better person than me.
Your characterisation is so solid! There's no weak link, every character is fully realised which, considering all we know about most of these characters is their name, and you are writing so far from JK's canon that in some ways even people like Draco and Harry are OCs (if that makes sense).
Although I am curious as to what happened between James getting arrested and Lily going missing. Whilst James, pretty much throughout the chapter, behaves brilliantly (and the scene where he heals Lily is so-- horrible but at the same time shows how much he cares about her) that it's rather amiss of him to leave Lily alone, even for a moment. Can't wait to read on!
(PS-Thanks for complimenting my time management skills but really they consist of writing my stories/ reading stuff not on course list/ and then writing essays/ reading course books at three a.m. See if that works for you :) )
I have always held that evil is in the eye of the beholder. What could be someone's dastardly deed could be someone else's just desserts. Everyone feels some level of justification for what they do, as least as they're doing it. While 99.999% of humanity would like to see Goyle Jr punished for what he did to Lily, there are always those who see 'crimes' from the other side, the generally assumed 'wrong' side. I've always found the science behind criminal behavior to be fascinating, because I have never truly understood why people do some of the things they do and why they think it was a good idea. This story is actually a giant representation of that.
One thing I've always held it is that everybody changes -- sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I'm not entirely certain that, with the job that he has and his personal sense of responsibility toward the safety to others, Harry was the same person he was when he was young, both morally and psychologically. The things that law enforcement sees... I really think he could have developed a warped sense of justice. This will come into play later in the story.
Draco is another matter. His life was over before he ever got a chance to live it, and it was only after essentially hiding in his own house that he could finally be himself. Yes, he's a snarky little prick when we meet him in the series, but like Harry, he would not come out of the series unchanged. What those changes were are subjective, and I simply chose to believe he could be a better person than he was when his father's beliefs were automatically his own.
Anyway, enough of the thesis on human tendencies and all that. I'm glad you like the story and the new dimensions I've added to known characters and the portrayal of lesser knowns. Enjoy the rest of the story, and I look forward to your next visit!
I DID IT! I FINALLY finished this humongous, novel-sized, epic monster-story!!!! (Yay!) The sense of achievement i feel right now must be NOTHING compared to what you must have felt when you finished writing it.
I've been reading a few reviews, and OMG-IS-THIS-YOUR-FIRST-FANFIC?!!! How long did it take to write this??? More importantly, how old were you when you had the plot charted out? (Forgive my overuse of capitals, but at this point, I-CAN'T-HELP-IT!!!!)
Amazing, amazing story. The twists and turns, the complexity of the plot rivalled that of the Da Vinci Code AND the PoA!!!
Although, it gets a bit depressing in the end. Being a faithful Harry/Ginny shipper, I couldn't (still can't) get over their split. Why did they do it? And, why did Harry BURN HIS HOUSE DOWN???? (with Katie's body INSIDE?)Is it because he couldn't stand the memories(Ginny, and the events of this story)? Or is it something else?
Katie and Draco....*sigh* All i can say is, interesting pairing. I like how they got together (sort of) but the way they ended was, again, depressing, but realistic, i have to admit.
I reaaallllyyy don't want to sound harsh, but I was quite surprised (and disappointed) by the lack of attention Ron and Hermione have gotten, considering the fact that the Trio have been through so much together and, by now, they should be sharing a lot more than what has been portrayed in this story. But then, as it has been stressed so much in this story, Harry is a 'man of many secrets'!
It also seemed weird that Harry wasn't really a confiding husband to Ginny, but then, he can't be expected to be the 'perfect person' everyone wants him to be. Actually, I love the fact that all your characters are extremely REAL, and noone, not even Harry is perfect. Everyone has their dark moments. The best one was when James felt like attacking Albus in their argument - it was poignant, that inspite of Harry's best efforts, Azbakan did leave its scars.
And, the diary - it was exactly the thing Harry would do, even though (or, because) it is stupid and self-sacrificing.
I absolutely LOVE the interaction between Harry and Draco - the grudging respect, the hidden gratitude, the disguised concern and the witty banter!
You also have dealt with all the possible sensitive social issues with admirable maturity. Very few people are able to do that, as I am sure you know.
Well, I'll try to explain the long (and the probably incoherent) review. I wanted to read the story in as continuous a manner as possible, so i decided to leave a review at the very end. :)And, anyway, this story DESERVES realllly long, raving gushing reviews :) As for the incoherence, the roller-coaster-plot doesn't leave you capable of anything more than THIS. :)
Lastly, I have a few ideas for some missing moments one-shots for this story, so, if it's not a problem, should i mail you or send a PM?
Yes, this was my very first fan fiction. Actually, it was the first creative thing that I'd written since I was, er... fifteen or sixteen. I started this last year in late September and wrote all the way up to the last chapter in February. I really dragged my feet on the Epilogue, trying to think of exactly how I wanted it to end, but nothing was coming out. Finally, I just sucked it up and cranked it out. In May. >.>
In all honesty, I didn't feel much of anything when I finished it. I was actually sort of relieved that I was able to stick to it, because if someone had asked me two years ago if I was capable of writing a book the same length of Goblet of Fire, I would've laughed in their face. Now, I know I can do it.
Katie and Draco have a story of their own, and it is a long (see: convoluted) one. This story merely brushes the surface of not only their past romance, but the changes that Draco had endured after the war and his eventual peacemaking with Harry. Likewise, there is more to how Katie and Oliver got together and how Katie settled for the man she loved but not wholly as she did with Draco. There is also a bunch of backstory as to why Harry and Ginny aren't exactly a model couple, stemming from several events in their past.
The Ron and Hermione thing was something commonly brought up, and while I do have my reasons, in retrospect, I would probably have changed it. You see, Hermione is employed by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and is pretty high up on the ladder, so with Harry doing things that may or may not have been illegal, he didn't feel comfortable putting her in the situation of having to tell her superiors about what he was doing in essentially trying to cover up a murder And he couldn't very well tell Ron and not Hermione; you know how well THAT would go over.
As for the plot, I had the major events outlined in my head, and the minor ones just came as they came. My brain is very plot-oriented and chock-full of drama and violence, so this sort of story is the fruit of my imagination. The actual concept came to me in a dream, where the very first line of the story, with James being sentenced to life in Azkaban, just kept playing in my head. I built a premise around that, and then started writing. I started and never looked back.
I would love to hear your ideas for accompanying one-shots. I have three already: Eye of the Beholder, which shows the events in the life of Nick Barnaby that embittered him to Harry; All the Time in the World, which shows one large stumbling block in Harry's life that causes things between him and Ginny to become tense; and About Last Night, which shows the events that inspired the dream which made James smile in the earlier chapters, during his first night at Azkaban.
For what it's worth, I think this is actually one of my most poorly-written stories, so if you like this, then the rest of my author page sighs in relief. :)
Thank you so much for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. It was so much fun to write, and I think it's an original plot and one that hasn't been done before. Yay!
Jess! I know I said ages ago I would read "Vindication" and am only just getting round to it now, but I am reading it (just when I have two essays to write-hence breaking here). I am already hooked. The letter Harry wrote James was beautifully put and trust Harry to think of ways to communicate with James. It's so sweet that he would endure the pain in his scar in order to stay connected to his son. I am very, very intrigued and I love your characterisation. The family bond keeps on getting stressed and, as all the characters I think need to be reminded of it, it doesn't get boring. Due to the epic lengths of your chapters it might be a while before I review again, but I'm really enjoying it so far. The detail you put into your writing is amazing. I'm very intrigued/ worried about Lily and Father Gregory. This doesn't bode well, even though whatever James did should be all sorted and closed now (if that makes sense) it obviously isn't. Why haven't Lily's family found her though? That's worrying. So worrying I might have to carry on reading this now. I already love the chronology you have built up between the Epilogue and the events of this story (Arthur being Minister of law Enforcement/ Ginny's Quidditch accident/ the characterisation of Harry and his role in the Government. And Nana Weasley (I call my grandma Nana!) )
Will read the rest of this story as soon as possible and am sure I'll enjoy it as much as I have thus far.
Oh, wow! I have no idea how you could have the time to read this monstrously long story with as many stories as you're working on yourself. I'm jealous of your time management skills. :)
Strictly speaking, Harry has always treated most rules as arbitrary and not always to be followed, so showing favouritism toward his own son in prison is an extension of that. The Lily situation is far more complex, but it'll become clearer in the next few chapters or so. A lot of hidden plot points will be revealed in chapters 9 and 10, as well. There are more twists and turns in this story than a plate of spaghetti, I do have to say, hehe.
I'm actually in the process of editing this story, so next time around, there may be some things which are different. I'm glad you enjoy the original version, though, as it is my very first fan fiction and gigantic, novel-length piece. Thank you very much for the review, and I hope to have not scared you away in later chapters. XD
Is the fact that Harry did not look a day above thirty on his fiftieth birthday related to the fact that Harry's hair turned gray when James started using the diary? Does the diary make sure Harry's body doesn't age, only his soul does? Why does James writing in it have anything to do with this? Isn't all of this a bit like Lord of the Rings? So many questions... but, it's been a gripping story so far. I guess I'll just read on, then. :)
Hehe, I've never read Lord of the Rings; I couldn't get past page 6, 'cause it was kind of boring.
The magic behind the diary is that Harry was his usual self until James started using the diary. Harry linked his living soul, as he would of course never do what was encessary to make it a Horcrux, to the diary, but each time James wrote in it, part of his soul was sucked out and into the diary. The diary required magic for it to work the way James saw it work (him writing and the book answering), and it was sort of battery operated by Harry's magic/soul. That's also what caused the aging (which Harry didn't know would happen).
I hope that helps/clarifies things. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of the story!
This story was one of the best MNFF stories that I have ever read. Your characterization of the next generation characters was interesting and believable. I never thought that Goyle had the potential as a stand-alone villain, but your portrayal of him was well done. I really liked Anne; she was a fresh character to the universe who did not seem like she was forced into the universe to be a tag-along new face (if that makes since!). I enjoyed how James was so much like his grandfather but had a bit of Ginny's personality too. Each character was so complex, especially Harry, who was not annoying to me as he is normally.
It would be great if you wrote a sequel to this! It would be interesting to see how Mira grows up with her new family and how Albus and Anne are as a couple after the events of this story.
Author's Response: Yayyy, I'm so glad you liked the story. I'm planning on revising the story a bit down the line, if only to clean up the writing style a bit. I had such a blast writing this story, and it was through it that I discovered my propensity for Potter family drama. And I do have a sequel in the works down the line when my works-in-progress are finished or at least under control. I do have a couple stories that go along the storylines of this one. My story Eye of the Beholder detail the events in Nick Barnaby's life that turned him against Harry. About Last Night show when the romance between James and Augusta started. And All the Time in the World shows why Teddy Lupin never made it into this fic outside of an offhand comment. If you're interested in more of the universe, these are compliant to the canon of this story. Thank you so much for your review. It really made my day. :D ~Jess
Hi again, Jess.
OK, well, because this story is so long I don't want to be reviewing with every chapter I've decided to leave you one massive review at the epilogue instead. I just want to say, before I start, that this story was one of the best that I've ever read, and that’s a promise.
So, at the beginning it’s really good, how you started it and everything. The fact that James killed someone was enough to get me really curious and made me want to read on, so much so that I've been neglecting my GCSE homework because I wanted to read more and more. I do think that everyone speaks really…properly, if you like. There are almost no apostrophes, which strikes me as slightly odd. For example, “Yes, James, I will. You are my friend, and you are family. Name it and I shall do what I can. What is this message you need me to take to your father?” But, hey, maybe you were trying to go for the serious effect of the whole chapter?
Also I realised immediately that it was Lily, the woman who was in a coma. It gave it away when you said she had red hair, but still, it was really interesting and I'm dying to know what’s going on and how Lily ended up there. I like how you’ve managed to stick to canon throughout so far and I also like that Lily was sorted into Slytherin, not Albus. Everyone expected that Al would but he didn't. And you're right, there are almost no fics about what the Next Gen gang get up to when they're actually adults and Molly and Arthur are great-grandparents already. So it’s great that you wrote this because I've never come across anything quite like it.
When I got to Chapter 7 I immediately thought oh my God, LILY did it? Lily? No way. No. Apart from if what Greg did to Lily was so bad that she had to do the Cruciatus and kill him? Even that…or maybe if someone made Lily do it? I thought that it had to be something really bad that James wanted to cover for her. When I finished chapter 11, I knew that Gregory did something to Lily! I feel so sorry for James though, I felt like crying when I read what he had to go through. I like how you included Scorpius and Hermione’s insistence that he stay outside while Rose gave birth. It was so overprotective and motherly and totally Hermioneish, particularly when Hermione knew that Scorpius would be allowed in the room if Rose was to have another child.
I knew that Lily’s definitely going to escape. I love how you included wandless magic in this story, about how Harry can do it and so can Lily yet James and Al can’t. That will definitely come in handy later on when she's trying to get away from Greg. I'm intrigued about what’s going to happen later on, because you’ve answered quite a few of my questions that I had initially, when I started reading the story.
When I got to chapter 13 I had to say, I’ve fallen in love with Scorpius. If I was Anne I’d probably swoon on the spot, to be honest. I really liked how it was all tying in together now, making more sense in my head. I feel really bad for Albus, how angry he was when he found out what really happened to Lily. Oh, I wished so badly that James could just come out of Azkaban so he could help find Lily! I also really liked the whole interaction with Albus and Draco; of all people, I didn’t expect Draco to open up to him at all, but maybe I've just underestimated him. I've never liked Draco but now I'm starting to warm to him, just like Albus, really. This story has got to be one of the best I’ve read on MNFF, I swear. And I don't say that about a lot of stories, let me tell you.
At Chapter 14 I thought oh my God, what does Draco have to do that’s so bad Harry has to be tied to his bed?? But I knew Harry will survive. If JKR couldn’t kill him off, I don't think you can either. Goyle is so horrible – how could he do that to Eric? And then tell Lily to “tend to him”? What a son of a b*tch! I think you’ve characterised Harry and Albus really well, and especially how Albus suddenly has this new angry kind of persona, which reminds me of Harry in OOTP.
I didn't think that Ginny would be an alcoholic. How could you? Then again, I guess it was always inevitable. I can’t blame her. After all she's been through…well she's got no excuse, not really. One criticism, more on my personal preferences than anything, I do think that it was wrong to split Harry and Ginny up like that (being a rabid H/G shipper) but it’s your opinion, after all. I was so glad when Goyle was locked up. He so deserved it. I wished Scorpius killed him, to be honest. It was so inevitable that Draco would die as well.
Draco and Katie was an unexpected pairing but a good one all the same. And I can’t believe that they had a child together! I felt sorry for Mira too – none of it was fair for her, she didn't deserve any of what happened. I've never heard of anyone being allergic to strawberries and certainly not committing suicide with an allergy, but it was such a great idea and I looked it up and I was surprised to find that it was actually true.
James’ trial was more than fair, in my opinion. It was Lily’s trial that I didn't like, but I suppose Kingsley couldn’t be biased or anything. And it made me smile to hear Ginny ask to join her in Azkaban. And I suppose anyone would need psychiatric help after what she went through. I like how everyone understands each other at long last, in the epilogue. Your characterization of Astoria was a bit too harsh for my liking, though. Other than that, I do think that the funeral was fabulously written, and I have to say that I wasn’t surprised when Harry made a pass for Katie. It was obvious from the beginning that there was something between them but it wasn’t like that, if you know what I mean.
I love the fact that you have managed to tackle so many sensitive issues within this story: rape, murder, manslaughter, pregnancy, euthanasia, suicide, death…all of these things have been explored so well. I'm really impressed with how this story has grown on me as I've read it. At first I thought it was written ever so slightly shakily but it got better very quickly and I especially liked the Albus/Anne pairing. Finally, I liked the symbolism of Harry setting fire to his house. It was a brilliant way to end what has been, as you said, a roller coaster. It has certainly been the longest roller coaster that I've ever been on and definitely one of the best. I totally get why this story is your baby. If I had written it, it would be my baby too.
Thanks so much, Jess, for writing this story, which has really touched my heart and made me remember why I bother to read stories at all.
*slaps self in face*
What a wonderful review! Seriously, that you liked the story well enough to take the amount of time that one would spend writing such a substantial write-up is touching and reminds me why I adore writing fan fiction so much. I poured a lot of myself into this story, staying up until six or seven in teh morning, sometimes even later than that, in the pursuit of finishing it, so I like to think that it was worth the effort. Your review just gave me warm fuzzies to the point where I would write it all over again in a heartbeat just because of that.
I'll address your concerns first, which were the writing style in the beginning and a couple characterization choices. This story was the very first thing that I had written for both fan fiction and frankly at all since I was in school, which was longer ago than I would care to admit, so the beginning is rather wordy, melodramatic and even slightly pedantic. That you chose to read on because of the story makes me glad, because I really do think my style improved as the piece wore on. Now, in terms of my other pieces, this one is written rather poorly, but if I may be so bold, I do think the story is enough to compensate for much of that.
I chose to break up Harry and Ginny because ther were so many other unincluded events leading up to it that, in context, would make far more sense. You remember, i trust, when Ginny said that Harry's life had been threatened seven times, and Ginny had endured his lack of seriousness on teh subject, knowing that he was being reckless and stupid. Then there was what was going on with Katie, and from an outsider standpoint, it probably did look like an affair. All of that, combined with the fact that she had been kept in the dark about what was going on with Lily and james was certainly enough to drive a normal person to drink and definitely to divorce. They made up in the end when Ginny finally understood the enormous burden that Harry had borne for so long, but things can't be unsaid, and some deeds cannot be undone.
I am actually surprised that you disliked Astoria as a character, because I never pictured Draco's marriage as a happy one. First off, he had been in love with another woman, and she (at least in my universe) had only been pushed into marrying him because she wanted to take advantage of his diminished social status and her her hands on Malfoy money. I checked canon everywhere I could, and there was nothing that said she was a nice person at all. I just chose that because after all that he had done, Draco almost didn't deserve to be happy. Fate wouldn't have chosen it for him anyway.
I wanted Draco to realize that he had been warped from birth into believing that he was superior, and I didn't want him to want that for his son. Even if Astoria is a frosty b!tch, Draco would know that it is his duty as a father to raise a good man for a son, if only to atone for his own past. Hence you get the Scorpius of this story, the one that Albus could care for as a brother and one that Rose could let herself fall for. I'm actually going to tie in my other story, Written in the Stars, to this one so readers can see how this all happened.
Albus, to me, was the real victory in the story. I know I made him seem a rather pathetic person, but in reality, he was. He was coasting through life, living in the shadow of his bloody perfect older brother and outshined by his beautiful, attention-seeking sister. He existed in silence and was not really even a whole person for reasons that I will not divulge due to WitS spoilers. There was no way that I could bear to make my favorite character that miserable, and random chance afforded me the opportunity to make him whole again.
I am indebted to you for this fabulous review. Truly, I am. There are, as you said, a score of sensitive topics in this story, and I've not truly experienced any of them, so that I handled them with care and tact relieves me. It is never my wish to offend anyone, so it's good to know that I have not thus far done so.
All in all, this story was a masochistic rollercoaster for me. It was painful at times, and at others, it was bliss and harmony. I even managed to keep myself from imprinting my favorite ship (Harmony) onto it and stuck to canon. I wrote it with the full realization that there really was nothing out there like it, especially amongst a very small pool of adult Next-Gen character stories. I wanted this to be one of those stories that made one think, "Yes, I believe this. It sucks, but it makes sense."
Complete hugs for the awesome review, and I really hope to see you again on my review page. Until next time!
He BURNED HIS HOUSE DOWN!?! Well, that was original...and absolutely amazing! This story was so well written and the plot with it's twists and turns and complexity was nothing short of sheer genius! You've got quite a talent and I personally would love to see it put to use in the making of a sequel. (There's just so much potential for one) Keep up the good work!
Well thank you, dear. I'm happy that an alcohol-induced fit of pyromania didn't disturb you greatly. A lot of darkness was poured into this fic, and I know I have enough for another go 'round. It probably won't be anytime soon, but a sequel is in the works in my head. Thank you for reading and reviewing.
I can not say anything about this story but wow. I can see how it won the competition.
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think my favourite part about it is that each event uncovers a new secret. Harry has spent his life collecting these secrets and building somewhat of a house of cards, but that all came crashing down. Ultimately, if you keep things from the people you care about, this is what happens.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you read the Epilogue as well. :D
Ooooooooooooooo. . .
I love it! And you said this was your first fic?
Yes, this was my first fic. I'm up to 24 now, but this one was my very first plot bunny and my very first brain child. I'm glad you like it so much. Stay tuned, though...the story has only begun. :D