Happy Birthday, Jamie! I’ve been meaning to review you for a while, so I thought when better to do it than today?
Before I came across your stories, I had never considered the Harry/Neville pairing, but now that I have, I really like it. As much as I love Harry/Ginny, I wanted Harry to stay with Neville by the end of this story, and that demonstrates just how well you have written this. The way you brought them together was really original, and Harry’s response to Neville’s revelation was pitched perfectly.
I like the idea of a party after the Final Battle. Goodness knows that the students would need to distract themselves and alcohol would be the obvious method. It also helps explain why Harry would be willing to risk his relationship with Ginny, which is always going to be an obstacle to a relationship like this. Neville’s nerves as he tried to figure out how inebriated Harry was made me smile, especially on a re-reading (which I have done several times) when I knew the significance.
I am no expert on drunken dialogue, but I loved how you wrote it here and the contrast between Harry and Neville. The line “You’d have thought we were on a boat” was a favourite, as it made me think about how much Neville had grown in confidence during his last year at Hogwarts. I can’t see the old Neville daring to be so blunt. His line about his Gran and the Gillywater was another one that could only happen post-war. I imagine that something like Sandmoss Sap would be much appreciated by many in real life.
You built up the tension really well as Neville prepared to get out the Pensieve. I felt so sorry for him when Harry mentioned kicking puppies. How could he think that Harry would equate his coming revelation with that? Evidently his insecurity hadn’t vanished completely just yet, and it was good to see this hint of “old” Neville, just to show that he hasn’t changed completely.
I don’t really know what to say about the memory section. Harry’s reaction was pitched perfectly, and Neville’s distraction was too, and, um, yeah. That’s about the best I can do. I loved it so much that I struggle to analyse it now. This has happened to me once or twice in English lessons too, and it’s quite a pain when it comes to essay writing time. There are some things that I am just too in awe of to think about rationally.
When the memory finished, I got totally caught up in Neville’s emotions, and in longing for Harry to stop torturing him so. That kiss was such a relief, and I couldn’t quite believe that Harry was going to just walk away afterwards. His reasoning as he turned around was another relief because by this point, I was rooting for Harry and Neville with all my heart. And then Harry said “It suits you” and I could have burst out singing! You manipulate your audience very cleverly, and I defy even the most fanatical canon shipper to not love this pair.
I know that you are supposed to leave crit in a review, but I really can’t think if anything that you could improve here. I don’t even have any typos or grammar slips to point out, which is unusual for me. Well done!
Sweetest thing ever...it doesn't even have to go on anymore. It's perfect the way it is; Nevilles secret love and Harry's budding love make for a truly romantic scene. 10 stars!!
This was a really nice story. I never thought of Harry and Neville as a couple until I read your fic. You made it look plausible. I particularly liked the Pensieve scene and my favorite was the last one. It was so bittersweet how Neville knew they wouldn't be together anymore, but at least he had him for one night. Great job! I'm glad I found this.
Wow, that was really well-written. Congratulations on a very strong story! I've never read a Harry/Neville before. Really, it's a hard ship to believe in because Neville was such a bumbling outsider for so long one wonders what Harry would have seen in him. But you captured the change in his character over seventh year very well, which makes it more believable. Even Harry notices, inside the story, that Neville has changed, physically and mentally. And you nailed it, made Neville a beautiful character here.
I really liked how Neville asked about the sword, and especially how he figured out the prophecy. It again shows how much he grew over the year. I have no doubt he would have felt that way about the prophecy.
Showing Harry the scene in the Pensieve was a good idea, as opposed to just telling him. It showed Neville's Gryffindor bravery. I did wonder, however, how Neville came by a Pensieve, since I've always assumed Dumbledore's was the only one. A throwaway line about how he got his might help readers through that.
Harry was wonderfully done as well. From his drunkenness to how he told Neville about the Horcurxes, he was so well written.His post-battle feelings just seemed so spot-on. I particularly loved how he reassured Neville he was indeed a hero, that was so very Harry and so lovely.
Then there was Neville's kiss. In thinking about it, I suppose the aftermath of the battle might have driven people to all sorts of rash acts, so I can believe that he might be moved to that. What was harder to accept was Harry suddenly being interested in more. As I was reading I sort of wanted it to end sadly with Harry walking out, leaving Neville behind. And yet…you did give us some set up, some explanation for Harry's sudden change of heart. I suppose it happens, that a person can suddenly look at a person so differently, particularly after something so traumatic as this great battle they just survived. I might have liked just a bit more peek into Harry's thoughts about it, though, to make me really feel his change of heart towards Neville. In particular, though I realize it probably wasn't the scope of this story, I wonder what sort of conflict he felt, in betraying Ginny and even Ron, to be with Neville.
That said, it still ended in a way I can appreciate. I'm glad you didn't have them stay together at the end, because that would have been so hard to believe after one night together. Neville was incredibly noble and mature, and Harry accepted it as what it was. I do hope it's not awkward for them now. I hope they can be friends, close friends, having shared a special moment in the midst of a very difficult time.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this. You have a nice style and the characterization was great, and it was certainly one of the most unique pairings I've read. Great job and good luck with your future stories!
Author's Response: May I begin by thanking you from the bottom of my heart for such a thoughtful and in-depth review? You are my new hero. If I had a review like this for everything I wrote I'd be head and shoulders a better writer all around. Neville is my absolute favorite character, and I'm glad you thought I captured him and his changes well. There seems to be few examples of Neville as anything but a side character or foil for Harry, and so I'm trying to change that in my corner of the world. I did actually have a line about the Pensieve in my original draft, during some pillow talk, but I ultimately cut that entire scene out as it added nothing and made the story drag. In retrospect, I probably should have added the line back in somewhere, but I can't see a place to insert it gracefully. I am extremely grateful for the critique of Harry's reaction. So many reviewers are wary of pointing out anything wrong with a story, but I love to hear what readers think I can do better. I am ecstatic that you enjoyed this piece, and was over the moon when I read this review. I hope that I'll be lucky enough to have your input on my future works as well.