This is fantastic; however, before I will continue, I will point out the bad, and then bury you with the great. A few minor misspellings, that once or twice gave me pause, but didn't stop the overall flow of the piece. I didn't like how quickly Gabrielle accepted Ginny's approach: it just felt to...easy, I guess you could say. I also didn't like the time frame. Doubting their marriage after only a week (ish)? Just seems a little rushed for me. However, this coin does have two sides, and I will show you the happier one. OMFG I flipping loved this! The naturalness of it all. Ginny feeling sexually deprived (your exact words I think) and Gabby being there for her, even barely knowing her. I feel like this could totally happen. And Harry in Ginny's dreams and thoughts constantly? And her realization once she slept with Gabby and the guilt she feels? I can't get enough of this! I especially loved when you were pointing out that Harry can sometimes get a little clueless about relationships. It was so true to the Potterverse!!! I actually laughed at that part. Very well done!
This was seriously awesome. I don't know what just happened because I think my mind just imploded because Ginny's a lesbian but she's also kind of not. I was once told that there is most definitely one perfect person for everyone out there, and just because your one person happens to be of the same sex as you, it doesn't necessarily make you gay, just part of a coincidence. Or something like that, whoever told me that definitely said it more beautifully.
The point is, that reminded me of that. You crafted this perfectly--nothing jumped awkwardly from place to place, and the time shifts worked well to make Gabrielle Ginny's perfect best friend and lover while simultaneously giving her enough time to fall out of love with Harry. You held very true to Ginny's character here--she may have slipped up and had some wildly right lesbian sex, but she regrets it (I loved that line) so much and I really think she'll re-love Harry. I don't know. This was just awesome. Sorry if I don't make much sense and none of this seems connected, I already said that my mind imploded.
Wow, I don't really know what to say. This was one of my first ventures into exploring Ginny's character, and not everyone agreed with me when I portrayed Ginny as neglected and hurt so much by it. Honestly, I don't think she's gay, either. I think she was in love with the idea of being loved, because she wasn't getting it from Harry and she'd already waited years for him.
And I don't find it unlikely that Harry would put off his personal life in lieu of obligations because Ginny would 'understand'. She did understand it; she just couldn't bring herself to live with it anymore, knowing she deserved his attention just as much as his job. Enter angst spiral.
To me, Ginny didn't fall out of love with Harry so much as fall in love with the fulfillment and companionship that Gabby gave her. It made her question her feelings to the point where she did something she ended up truly regretting.
Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the story and that it had such a strong impact on you. Our beliefs seem to be similar when it comes to the 'right one', so it's nice to see the other side of the coin from other reviewers. Thank you for your kind words and for the lovely visit. :D
That was...deep. A little off the beaten path from what I'm used to with the Golden Couple, but once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I liked the emotion you put into it, despite the darkness surrounding this situation. I think I'm going to have to go read some fluff now, to clear my head, but it was a fantastic read.
Welcome back, hehe.
This was my first attempt in fan fiction to give Ginny deeper dimensions. In the series, as well as in fan fic, her characterisation is often glossed over due to the fact that she's treated more as 'Harry's girlfriend/wife' or 'Ron's sister', not as her own separate character with likes and dislikes, dreams and passions, feelings and emotions. While she's not my favourite character, she was the perfect one for this story.
Thanks for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
Jess, ever since writing my own femmeslash, I’ve really wanted to read one of yours. I had to go back a couple of pages to read it, but it was definitely worth it. And that’s probably what draws me to writing it, because it’s just so nice when slash is well written and not used just as a plot device.
As you know, I am a firm Harry/Ginny shipper. My guilty pleasures, though, are definitely Harmony and Hermione/Ginny and Hermione/Luna and Ginny/Luna, actually. So for me to be reading Ginny slash that doesn’t concern Hermione or Luna is rather rare, but as you always do, you picked out the one character I didn't expect to be paired with the major character in question — Ginny. As I said, normally, rarepairs are used as plot devices, but I truly think that you characterised Gabrielle and Ginny very well. Gabriella wasn’t given much description by JKR, but she definitely wasn’t described as immature in DH, at least. So I'm glad you built on that, and the fact that you didn't make her a younger version of Fleur made me smile. You made her your own character, with not so much French in her, which is a nice change from what Gabrielle is normally like in fanfic.
Ginny was well characterised too. She had her weak and her strong moments, the times when she gave in to Harry and let him be, and the times when Harry and Ginny fought, that eventually led to Gabrielle and Ginny’s affair. What I really liked about the pairing, by the way, was that Ginny wasn’t too fond of Gabrielle, at least in DH, because she was still under the impression that Gabrielle fancied Harry. And you continued that rather than ignored it, having Ginny act a little hostilely towards Gabrielle at first, but then warm to her. I really liked how you made them both really funny, and how Gabrielle remained French — just not as much as her sister was, LOL.
The storyline was also really good. The way it started, the wedding, and how that led up to Ginny really seeing what Gabrielle was like, not just viewing her as a little kid anymore... they were really good, subtle hints on their relationship. I do object to Harry being that heartless to Ginny, but I can kind of understand why he left the wedding to work too. I have many workaholics in my family, so that’s no surprise. I don't think it was to do with Harry prioritising work over Ginny — he just couldn’t choose. I liked how you displayed his insecurity as well as Ginny’s; you didn't make Ginny’s angst one-sided. It was more realistic that way, I think.
I was not at all surprised when Gabrielle had a go at Harry. People always say that when you meet someone you’ve idolised, you see their true colours, and I think you did a great job showing how true that was for Gabrielle. I did feel sorry for Harry, too, and the fact that you got me being sympathetic towards Harry and Ginny means you definitely hit the nail there, Jess. Their arguments didn't seem random, either, and had reasons to them, and generally you displayed their conflict very well. I especially liked the bit about how Harry had affected Ginny’s psyche so much. It was really, really interesting to know that Harry almost abused her in that way, by putting her off like that.
When Ginny slept with Gabrielle, I thought I’d feel angry, since I'm Harry/Ginny through and through, but I didn't. Which definitely shows you’ve done a good job on this, because it doesn’t take much to get me annoyed (as you probably know). But I didn't — I did understand why Ginny did what she did and why she did it, and I can definitely see this scenario fitting in pretty seamlessly into canon. No marriage is perfect (although I still can’t see Harry and Ginny divorcing, ever, sorry) so I don't see why Ginny can’t have had an affair. And somehow, it seems more forgivable because she only did it the one time, and that’s what it took for Harry to get his act together again.
I did spot a couple of grammar errors, pretty minor, really. As well as that, I'm really not trying to sound picky here, but God, does the nickname “Gin” annoy me! At the same time, though, maybe you were trying to go for some kind of effect? As in, yet another reason why Harry’s not right for Ginny/neglecting her? If that is the case, maybe it would have been better to include something about Ginny not liking Harry calling her that. But overall, great story.
You know, this fic started as a little baby drabble for SBBC, but the idea that there could've been another woman in Harry and Ginny's relationship just kind of stuck, but I really didn't think that Harry could find the time to have an affair. He was set to become the youngest Head Auror in Ministry history at age twenty-five, and he was so focused on that as a duty he had to fulfill, as he was with the Horcrux hunt, that he really did forget that it wasn't just himself that he had to worry about anymore. He was used to seeing Ginny as a strong, independent girl who survived the worst possible school year in Year Seven and came out of it not only alive, but ready to fight to the end. This was the woman that he thought Ginny was from the day they got married, but he didn't realise that she was far from that confident until Gabby verbally bitch-slapped him back to his senses.
If you're interested at all, the two weeks that Harry took off were when I postulate that James was conceived. In this period, she was going to confess about her fling with Gabby, but she put it off and off until the very last minute, only to figure out that she was pregnant. She couldn't risk that he would call it quits, because she managed to go back to where they'd been before Harry's schedule monopolised their lives. She couldn't bring herself to ruin that, and she didn't want her child to be one of those who gets bounced back and forth between two households if Harry decided to end their marriage. She loved Harry but was still willing to hurt him with this knowledge, but she loved her unborn baby more than the truth. FWIW, I would have done the same.
Anyway, thank you for reading, and I'm glad that you understood the emotions and the intentions that I'd tried to put across. Lovely review!
Definately not what I was expecting. But appreciatively read all the same. Very good.
I'm glad you liked it. I'm sure the friendship gone too far thing has happened more times than one might think, so why not for a lonely newlywed who had been left behind just one too many times.
Thanks for reading!
A Promise to Keep by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
I really loved this story. I actually really like femme slash, although I haven't read a lot of it, and I particularly like it with Ginny, so I was very interested in reading your take. I wouldn't have expected Gabrielle, since she is such a minor character, but I thought it was a good choice because of the interesting cultural dynamic because she is French. You make her less French than Fleur, but her attitude about love and romance seems particularly French and particularly suited to Ginny's needs in this story.
Your greatest strength in this piece is the characterisation and the portrayal of Ginny's emotions. I really felt her abandonment while Harry was gone, and the relief she found in Gabrielle. I also liked the contrast you set up between Hermione and Gabrielle, since Hermione would be sympathetic to Harry at a time when Ginny needed to be selfish. You don't say that specifically in the story, but that just makes it even more powerful. We can see how much she has given up for Harry and how the last thing she needs is to be told to be more understanding. Another thing you do well is show how Ginny has a sense of how she really feels, but doesn't let herself feel it. For example, when Gabrielle is shocked that Harry wasn't at his wedding reception, you write: "Ginny did not want Gabrielle to continue, for fear that she may find herself in some sort of agreement." That's such a wonderful way to show Ginny's internal conflict about her feelings for Harry. Another really great moment is when Gabrielle tells Ginny that the other guests think she and Harry are 'together.' That's an amazing foreshadow of how Gabrielle is going to end up being Ginny's real partner, and it's Ginny and Gabrielle who are together on Ginny's wedding night. Almost as if they are the ones who consummated the marriage, even though all they did was talk. Gabrielle's character is also well developed. I particularly liked the way you voiced her irritation about people not thinking she has anything to offer because of her age. It's a detail that doesn't seem significant, but makes her a real person. Finally, your description of the marital trouble between Harry and Ginny is incredibly realistic. You get people so well; that's exactly how they behave in situations like that.
The only real problem I have is Harry. I can easily see Harry and Ginny having marital problems; their relationship is not very well developed in the books. I also think you nailed the reason: Ginny is intensely loyal to him and to her principles, while Harry is intensely loyal about saving the world. Even so, I think it's a little too extreme that he'd be at work on his wedding night and then for the next 13 days in a row. I can see their relationship devolving into that eventually, so maybe an anniversary instead of the actual wedding, but it almost felt satirical. I had troubles taking it seriously. I also can't see Harry being motivated by a promotion. I can see him saying that they need him because people need saving, but not because he's being groomed to be Head Auror.
Overall, this was a beautiful story. I completely got into the characters and I cried at the end when Ginny gave Gabrielle up for her sense of honour (and what a completely Gryffindor thing to do!). I have hopes that maybe some day, Ginny will come to her senses, and that Gabrielle will forgive her, but I have a feeling that there's no hope for that. Wonderful!
This story was written for a characterisation challenge, so I took extra super duper care to keep the MC (Ginny) the way she should be. I took it as a challenge to make her the protagonist, because she's probably one of my least favourite characters due to the flatness of her role in the books. That being said, I really like how I stepped beyond that and gave her depth.
I understand your apprehension about Harry, but I still disagree. Harry is the ultimate martyr. At age 16, he without even questioning Dumbledore set out on a dangerous mission that he knew would probably get him killed. He dumped Ginny to do it. He kept on going even when his best mate turned into a whiny bitch and left him. He did it even when he had very good reason to doubt Dumbledore's intentions. That being said, I absolutely believe that if there was danger and he was called away to proverbially save the world, he would--no matter what day it was. At this point, they didn't have kids yet, so in his mind, Ginny was still strong, independent, and knew what he was doing and why. It was at the end when he took time off work that he finally saw what he was doing to her, but it was a little late at that point.
Harry has been and always a man of different priorities than the rest of us. I just chose to portray it in the story like this. I see and acknowledge your concerns about this--and I might just be wrong--but many choose to see Harry as this great man who will be a great father and the perfect husband. I happen to think that's bollocks. His head simply isn't screwed on like that to me.
I'm glad you liked the story, even though, as you can tell by the title, it was never meant to be for our intrepid young ladies. I wanted to portray two people falling in love, and then two people falling in LOVE love from that. That added to the heartbreak in the end.
Merlin, am I incapable of writing about a happy couple? I'm fluff-challenged!
Lovely review, SPEW buddy. You will get yours, I promise. I've un-squickified myself to Snape just for you by reading a crapload of Sev stories. Ta for now!
P.S.--I wrote a drabble that is sort of an epilogue to this story. Linky: http://fanfiction.mugglenet.com/forum/showpost.php?p=393871&postcount=2
I think the way you write is wonderful, so believable :).
Howver I don't really agree with what happened at some points in the story, although that may be because I'm such a Harry & Ginny fan.
Like I don't think for a minute that Harry would leave Ginny on their wedding day to go to work, he loves her too much.
I also think that you may have over exaggerated Harry's inability to read emotions when it comes to girls, as I'm sure he would know perfectly well that his being at work would take a toll on Ginny and his marriage.
However I love how you brought in Gabrielle to the story as she never features in many fan fics that I have read.
To end on a nice note and hope you don't take offence to my views, you really are a great writer, your characterisation of Harry is well written as I could see him as a bit of a workaholic. and it was a refreshing change to see the faults that Harry and Ginny's marriage could have :). Rather than the complete perfection other people tend to write about :).
Ah, the conflicting Harry/Ginny shippers' view. :)
I actually hashed this out with a friend of mine who adores Harry/Ginny (I tend to gravitate toward other ships myself). We discussed how we both felt about Harry and how he would act as a trainee Head Auror. I tend to think that it would be much like undergrad work at law school. You work like a dog, with ridiculous hours mired in books and dogsbody work that no one would ever want to do. I believe that, once he actually got the job, his lot would improve, and he would be home more. Therefore, Ginny would forget about her infatuation and move on with her husband and son.
This brings to light something that I have and always will believe of Harry, and it's that he's unintentionally insensitive. He sees Ginny as this strong, independent girl who's been through hell, but after all of that, wouldn't she just want to be a girl in love with a boy? I think he'd have a hard time getting past that idea that she can and will take care of herself in order to be the doting husband he wants to be.
I understand how we can come to a bit of an impasse, as I believe that Harry isn't kittens, bunnies, and roses. He's just as screwed up as the rest of us, maybe even more so, considering his lot in life. From that, I believe that he and Ginny will have their trials and tribulations, but they'll get past them, because, face it, they've seen worse.
It's been interesting, and I hope to hear from you again. Cheers and happy reading!
I wish you would make this into more than a one shot! It was excellent, and oddly believable, though again, I wish there were more to it.
Well, this was written for a challenge on the forums, so it really wasn't allowed to be longer. For me, Harry and Ginny's marriage has a colourful story that is waiting to be told. It's something that I really want to do eventually, once I get my current writing projects completed. It may be a few months, it may be a year, I don't know, but eventually...
I'm glad that you found the story to be believable. One of my specialties is writing non-canon things and making them fit into canon. I look for believability and strength of characterisation, and it pleases me that you find these things to be accurate.
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing. Take care and happy reading!
This story surprised me on so many levels; I never expected things to happen, so it’s nice to see you have that skill as fan fiction writer because not that many use that element. I’m in that group, incidentally; it’s nice to see that done for a change. You understand the element of marriage: it’s simply continuing life after a ceremony. The phrase ‘insipid smile’ paints such a mental image and you jump right into the introduction of Gabrielle. The first few sentences of the usual ‘wedding ceremony’ might sound a little cliché, but you make it unique but adding that spin and such a visual picture. This bride is clever, not taken away or masked by wedding bliss, and, just as Ginny is often described as a ‘clever girl’, you show how in tune she is with Harry because she is just that observant. That is the expected reaction when a workaholic, even if he or she does this with good intentions, lives in the office and forgets the other life they have promised to live with their family.
Just as a characterization thing, I don’t know, but I reread this to make sure that I had this right. Kingsley Shacklebolt acts as the one who conducts the wedding ceremony. Isn’t he the newly elected Minister of Magic? I’m a little curious as to why you chose him. You usually are spot on with characterization and exploring its limits, but this seems a little off. I did not catch this in the first read. Kingsley most likely would have attended the wedding ceremony. Harry probably was his most promising Auror in the reshaping of the Wizarding world, but why would he go out of his way to do this? Kingsley comes across as a reserved man, only getting involved and adding his opinion when strictly necessary. It’s usually insightful. I’m curious as to what you think.
Tying in the ‘phlegm thing’ made me giggle a little. Just reading through that sentence, I thought, ‘Ginny said that,’ and you allude to that in the following lines. Your word choice seems a little weird at times, sometimes it almost sounds as though it can be reversed in phrases like: ‘treacherous mind silently replied’ (although JKR often messes up on placing personification, so you might want to keep this). There are others here and there, but a quick reread, as you know I always suggest reading things out loud, will clean this up a bit. It’s impressive that you have Gabriele stand up for Ginny and chew Harry out a bit. You know, I’m sure some people wondered why she wouldn’t appeal to Hermione, but that would put her in an odd position. Putting Harry ‘in his place’ is an interesting move, for you do not overwrite as the amazing genius called Harry Potter; this is a new, very realistic side to him as character development, and it makes perfect sense with balancing a new family and career.
The entire piece follows a line that is completely logical, at least when you consider marriage and the real life of it not being all that gooey romance. The love scene, simple, sprinkled with hints, shows your talent at presenting a story and weaving it through canon to make it plausible to the storyline. People forget their lives; they forget these are the simple things that matter in a relationship. I don’t usually go for stories that follow this slash theme, not because I stray away from it, but because it usually carries no reason for why the author presented it in such a light. The theme of companionship makes me think of the whole concept of ‘love’ pleases me to no end.
Very well written,
Thank you so much for hte review! I always wished that this one got more reviews, because it really is something that I worked hard to make realistic and plausible.
I chose Kingsley as the presiding minister, because although he is the MoM, Harry is also his friend and the resident savior of the world, so it's not a stretch to think that he might do that. At least not in my mind anyway. Plus, where I have this taking place, Ginny is 23, Harry is 24, and Gabby is 18. The battle had been over for almost 7 years, so by this time, Kingsley had already acclimated to his role as MoM.
I'm not really sure what you mean by the language, because it's meant to be like that during the narration. That's just the way I write. I don't, of course, write that way during speech, but it is my style. I don't know what you mean by the line that you cited, the 'her treacherous mind silently replied' and how that doesn't fit in. There really is no other way to phrase it that is accurate, and I didn't use any flashy words, because that is exactly what I'd meant to say. Maybe if you gave me a further example, I could look at it and maybe improve upon it if possible.
As a matter of interest (or not...you might care), that 'break' that Harry took off of work at the end, this is when I imagined that James was conceived, which helped Ginny move on from her affair.
Well, anyway, if you have any more questions, you know where to find me, and I shall endeavor to give you the best answers I can. Thank you again for reviewing. :D
Well, damn! You worked the snot out of that rarepair, wow! I had read your Ginny/Gabby drabble, so I had some idea of what to expect. This was different – their affair starting right after Ginny gets married instead of years later. I liked that. It almost makes it more believable, because I don’t know if Harry would overwork and drift away if there were kids in the picture. Setting it right after the wedding lent it urgency.
In a way, it’s hard to believe Harry would treat Ginny that way, but you mentioned him training to be Head Auror and since we know that happens, that lends it credibility. Plus you totally worked the “clueless” aspect of his character, making it even more real. Even though he brought this upon himself, for most of the story I still felt bad for him.
I felt even more bad for Ginny, especially by the end. What an ending. You really tortured her with those last few paragraphs. So what happens? Does she keep seeing Gabrielle? You know you’ve written a good story when readers want to know more.
Gabrielle was a great confidant for Ginny. In your mind, did Gabrielle have feelings for Ginny from the beginning? The small details – the light touches and such – make me think she did. I loved the showdown with Harry. I was a bit confused when Gabrielle took Ginny to her house since I assumed she left before Harry and Ginny had it out, but that’s just me.
The dream sequence was absolutely terrifying! Poor Ginny. That showed real insight into her fears, without just telling us – here, this is what Ginny is scared of. Very nice writing there. You did great with her character, developing her feelings slowly but surely (which is important, since this was for a character challenge! a86; )
I must say, when I first started it – all 8300 words of it (how DO you do that?!) – I was thinking “Wow, this is rather fluffy for Jess!” But by the end the angst was in full swing and that’s what I wanted and expected from this story. You developed it nicely, choosing your scenes well fleshing everything out, so by the end the reader believes it and feels it.
Really lovely job. I think it’s awesome that you wrote a first kiss story for the challenge that doesn’t turn out so well for the couple! Good luck in the challenge!
Aww, thank you so much. I'm mucho happy at the moment. :)
I really wanted this to have the feel of something that could really happen. As you know, I hate making Harry seem like the bad guy, but I just have this image of him being a pretty inattentive husband. Not on purpose, but sheerly because of his dedication to his work.
"It almost makes it more believable, because I don’t know if Harry would overwork and drift away if there were kids in the picture."
Incidentally enough, in the timeline I picked, it was actually possible for James to have been conceived during that time off that Harry had taken. I needed to re-establish their relationship, even if Ginny didn't really want to, because I am, as you know, a canon slave.
I really did want you to feel bad for Harry, because while it is his fault that this happened, it's not really his fault, if that makes any sense. He is, as you mentioned, clueless about women, even the one he's married to, so he's already starting off with a couple strikes against him.
For once, I really wanted everything to work out for Ginny, but that would have meant that she was still with Gabby, which just couldn't really happen. I'm still spinning bits of it in my head about where I want this to go in the future. I might even write about Gabby in the minor character prompts. I'm sure I could insert a plot bunny into it.
Gabby. I really wanted Gabby to be happy. She used to be this two-dimensional, sister-of-Fleur, derivation of background noise, but now she's so real to me, I hate thinking of her having her heart broken at 18. I really think she's more, um, experienced in worldly things, but there's a vast difference between that and love. And yes, she had feelings for Ginny long before Ginny reciprocated.
In the dream sequence, I really wanted Ginny to feel fear. At this point, she stilll loved Harry a great deal, so for him to say such acid and hurtful things to her was wounding and terrible. Of course, even though real Harry would never in a thousand lifetimes said anything of the sort, I wanted that instinct to flee embedded into Ginny's brain, because well... I needed it, lol
8300 words, to me, is like... normal. I'm actually pleased with the length, because for a while, I wasn't sure that I could fit it into a one-shot. I had planned more time together for Ginny and Gabby, but I knew that it would put me way over the mark. Instead, I focused on the decay of her marriage and how that affected her. And moi, write fluff? Only for Amanda, because she hearts fluff so much.
This has to be angst, because I wanted Ginny to, in the end, do the right thing (well, I guess it's the right thing), but agonize about it. As this was a characterization, I really needed her nature, the one that is all about loyalty, to come out. I think she would stick with Harry through just about anything (by 'just about', I do draw a line), but that doesn't mean that it's a smooth ride.
As for the first kiss aspect, how often does that really work out? Not too many first kiss/first love stories ever amount to anything, and this one is no different, though had she not been married, I think Ginny would have pursued it. Had this happened before her wedding, I really think that she would have broken things off, because it wouldn't have been fair to Harry at all.
Regarding the sequence of Harry and Ginny arguing after Harry and Gabby had it out, in my mind, it happened like this (and since it's from Ginny's perspective, I couldn't add Gabby's thoughts in there): Harry storms out of the kitchen to confront Ginny, but Gabby, horrified that it had spiraled this far out of control, just sort of stood in the kitchen and collected herself. When she heard Ginny shouting, she went back into the living room to see Harry leaving and Ginny miserable. She sort of stared for a while, not sure about what she should do. Finally, when she saw how distressed Ginny was, she started steering her toward the bedroom, Ginny freaked out and didn't want to sleep there, and then the rest, you know. It's hard to write for purely one person's perspective, as some aspects of the story remain a mystery, but as it is characterization, Ginny's thoughts and feelingswere paramount.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Thank you for the lovely review, and my review for "Lost" will be coming VERY soon. Cheers and happiness, my friend!