I just realised I never reviewed this fic which is a travesty, so here I am.
I first read this at about 3am while listening to the Lost soundtrack and I remember feeling utterly bereft and moved. This fic is so moving, Carole.
It’s not horrific, gritty, or particularly dramatic, but it is touching, and you captured that desperately human need for companionship, and the terrible loneliness that the people on the run must have felt during DH, so well. And there is the quiet sadness running through this fic of nostalgia at Christmases past, which was so beautifully woven between the awkwardly tender moments between Dean and Ted. But it’s not light, either. There is a distinct undercurrent of menace, knowing the direness of their situation, and the fact that out of all of them, only Dean will survive. You just captured every mood so beautifully, so perfectly. You and your missing moments!
I also loved the dynamic that you created between the runaways. Going from the brief scene we read of them in canon, it all felt very true to the book. Dirk’s cynicism, the goblins being… goblins, Ted looking out for Dean, the need to be a father when he can’t be with his own family, Dean’s faith in Harry, and his heartache at missing his family and friends.
Even rereading it, I am feeling weepy again. The football scene is the point where I completely lose it, though. It's just such a beautiful moment.
How do you do it, Carole?
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Julia. I've delayed replying to this review because I really wanted to think of a decent response, but I can't. This is such a glorious review, and I'm incredibly appreciative.
Um, how do i do it? I don;t know. What I know about this story is that I had a decent enough head canon for Dean from another story, and Ted from another. Both are Londoners in my mind, and we know Dean liked football. As you know, I like football, and thus I basically decided to base it around that - Ha! (Ted was a Spurs fan - heh heh)
Glad you noticed Dirk. He took a while to get right but I remembered him questioning Dean about Harry being the Chosen One, so went from there. Plus the goblins are his companions, so I figured they had more than a language in common.
I'm getting all nostaligic for Dean now. Perhaps that Cotillion isn;t safe from me yet. :)
Thank you again. ~Carole~
This is such a wonderful story! I love to read missing moments from the books like that. Dean and Ted must've felt so alone in those woods, especially on Christmas, and I think that you captured perfectly this state of loneliness. It's like they were seeking comfort in each other, like they were having a father and son's relationship. Yes, I was sad for them, but the way you told the story wasn't depressing or anything. It kind of made me feel warm inside when I finished reading it.
I like how you put so many details in there, about football and the little joke about the stables being full at that time of year. It's just small things, but to me, it's the little details that count!
Good job Carole!
Author's Response: Thanks, Viv. I was a little worried about this one because it's not an 'exciting' story, as such, but I wanted to write something that wasn't totally depressing for poor Ted and Dean. I also love football (Spurs are my team - ha ha) so wanted to include that in a story. I do see Ted and Dean becoming close when they're on the run and will explore it further when I get back to my other Dean story. (One day when I find my time turner). Thanks again for the review. ~Carole~
Wow, Carole, this is just so lovely. Missing moments from canon are probably my favorite kind of story to read, and this does not disappoint. Wonderful characterization of both Dean and Ted, and really Dirk as well, who I've hardly ever considered at all. I really felt like I was there at that campsite with them, and I appreciate the responsibility and generosity you've given Ted here. I do think he would have been looking out for Dean. I liked the football connection and the time they had together to play for awhile... especially considering how all of this ends for Ted. :( If you hadn't told us who Dean's love interest was, I would have pestered you on AIM until death! I had it narrowed down to two, and one of them was the right one. I suspected it couldn't be the other, as your head canon for her is quite solidified. ;) I won't reveal more here in case potential readers are scanning your reviews before they read (as I sometimes do). I'm rambling. I did love this, and will drop it right into my favorites. This little story is now part of my head canon for this time period. Lovely stuff.
Author's Response: Hey Lori, thank you. Missing moments are a favourite of mine, as well. I like exploring something that could have happened if JKR had been able to write another 50 books - LOL. OHH, interesting that you narrowed his love interest down to two. I think I know who you thought it could be, but you know me too well, I suspect. This is actually compliant with Orphans of the Storm which is my vague head canon for Dean and Seamus, too. That's still unfocused, though. There was one other person I nearly had as his love interest, but ... hmm ... without revealing too much, I think the fact that this person was in a different house, and the thing with this girl started up pretty quickly, meant it had to be who I made it in the end. (Is that mysterious enough, O' people who haven't yet read but are scanning reviews first - ha ha - like Gina)
I wanted to write a gentle story about their life as fugitives that wasn't about fighting off Snatchers everyday, but mirrored the Trio's in its mundanity but without the horror of the horcrux. I'm glad it wasn;t boring because I thought it might be.
Thank you. ~Carole~
Oh Carole, this was lovely. I really enjoyed the way you started with a general description of Christmas which was not overly sentimental, whilst still being heart-warming, and then going into Dean's specific memories of the day. The way you paralled the football-playing with Gary, and the football playing with Ted was also very neat. Ditto with the bacon.
I liked how realistic the story was. These strangers who needed each other for support had their friction with each other, their disputes, and misubderstandings, but ultimately were there for each other, particularly the scary moment when they think Ted is trying to go home.
Dean was incredibly well-felshed out- I liked the way every detail was pertinent to how he was feeling - thinking about Harry, Ginny and his family, for example. And his drawings of Ted's family was such a lovely idea.
I also liked the gentle humour. It wasn't laugh out loud funny, but the idea of wizards getting confused by football, and also the joke about the stables leavened the general awfulness of their situation-I also liked the stubborness of the fact they'd rather be there than in Azkaban. that says a lot that, after several months, their spirit hasn't been broken, but there's also the underlying sadness that we know Ted doesn't survive :(. Anyway-beautifully written as always and lovely story- Alex
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I have to admit the temptation to be overly ironic with Ted to foreshadow his death threatened to take hold in this story but I resisted largely because I wanted something a bit different. Ditto making it an exciting fight to death type story which may have been better to read, but didn't fit with what I actually wanted, which was a look at how boring their life could be on the run.
Plus I like Spurs and wanted Ted to be a fan - ha ha. Seriously, when I think of football in my house, a large part of our holiday is planned around which football match husband and son are going to watch on Boxing day, so it seemed natural that Dean would have been to Boxing day matches and would miss it.
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again ~Carole~
That was amazing. I was so worried that they were suddenly going to be attacked, but it was nice that they got to have a little goodness. Thanks for writing
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I wanted to write something less dramatic and heartwarming, although it might not be very exciting. Really pleased you enjoyed it, though. ~Carole~
Excellent! Pure wonderfulness!
Not only is the story wellwritten and very detailed(as always), but just the IDEA of describing a Christmas on the run is - well, excellent!
You really get under the skin of the characters, always described with amazing details that even though they are not "in plain sight", are impossible to miss. I was sitting with glistening eyes through the whole thing.
I bow to thee, queen of Potter-fanfiction, and wish you a merry Christmas and happy New year!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review. To tell you the truth I thought this was too dull for people, but I wanted to show the monotony of their life on the run and also how it was the little things they missed the most and also how the little things they had made all the difference.
Your review made all the difference to me today, thanks again.
Hope you had a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year, too. ~Carole~
I loved it - I just want to cry thinking about Ted. You have a true gift - thank you for sharing it with us all!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Poor Ted, he makes me sad as well. ~Carole~