The song you choose for this chapter (62) I LOVE it. OMG. TobyMac is such an amazing artist and this song is so true!
Author's Response: Thanks!
Oh Ella. You just had to make me start bawling, didn't you? From the moment Andromeda went into the room, caught sight of her sister and cried "Cissy". This story is so full of emotion I don't know what to do with it all! I'm sad to see it end but I'm happy about the way it ended :)
Author's Response: Awww. Sorry I made you cry. I get accused of that a lot. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and thanks so much for reviewing.
Well, I promised and so ye shall receive. I guess the easiest way for me to do this, since this is such a character driven piece, is to look at your major characters. Sound good?
Harry. I think, at first, I understood exactly what you were doing with him. The war-weary Harry archetype has been done before, the Harry-without-his-best-friend has been done before, but I felt more connected to the way you wrote him. It might have something to do with the short chapters and quicker updates forcing me to internalize all of it at a breakneck speed, but overall I think he was well done. His relationship with Draco was pretty believable and I liked the portrayal a whole helluva lot better than othersâ€™ renditions â€“ itâ€™s got a pretty firm root in physical desire but, hey, plenty of actual relationships are.
The Malfoys. A lot of my early praise was toward Lucius, since he seemed like a broken man just trying to do better, and I think that stays throughout. He tries to cope with the Harry/Draco relationship, and the way he does it at first â€“ complete avoidance â€“ felt real and, therefore, more heartbreaking. The redemption of his character felt a little unearned, to be honest, but by the time 65 chapters of all this misery is over I just donâ€™t care. Narcissa plays out as a pretty pivotal character, but I never really felt connected to her. Again, that may be due to the shorter chapters but I read her as a plot device more than anything, even when she had her quieter moments with her family. They should have characterized her, but I was left wanting. I canâ€™t articulate it very well right now, but I believe she was well handled but not strictly as a character if that makes any sense. Draco felt a little along the same lines but because we see more of him by the end, and characterizing him in the pub scenes and his quiet moments with Harry, I felt like he evolved rather than stagnated like Narcissa.
Hermione. This is perhaps my biggest, and only real, problem with this story. Not the way you wrote her in general, but rather the speed with which it felt like she turned from â€śgrieving every second of her dayâ€ť to â€śboning Georgeâ€™s brains outâ€ť was quite confusing. I understood her motivations and why she gave in to temptations, but her relationship with him felt totally unearned with her all her himming and hawing at Harry over Ron. This, I believe, is also due to the structure of the story and how the POV shifted constantly â€“ we get to learn a bit about her coping methods, but then we move on and read about someone else so when we come back to Hermione, some of the changes in her perspective feel unearned or contrived. Itâ€™s a complex problem where I feel like you burdened the character with a pivotal evolution, but in the end it was brushed aside for the greater plot. It would have, no doubt, dragged the story on for far too many chapters, so I can appreciate it from that angle at least. That is looking at her from a literary perspective, though, since I would have been on Susanâ€™s side in real life so take it with a brick of salt.
Andromeda. As a character we know only a tangential amount about, I love reading interesting takes on her. I disagreed immediately with how she initially handled the whole blood transfusion dilemma, but I also understood it and empathized with her â€“ a difficult task to do, but one that I think you pulled off. I hated her but I almost pitied her at the same time. Not to mention the Teddy inclusions where she and Harry connected gave a little extra humanization to this bleak universe.
So I guess in summary, I liked thisâ€¦ a whole lot. Itâ€™s bleak, yes, but all canâ€™t be well always and forever. In the end I still think the canon ending is satisfying in its own right, but the way you pitched it is simply another perspective. Itâ€™s just the inverse of the one we were given, but a respectable one nonetheless. I donâ€™t know if I would say I â€śenjoyedâ€ť reading this so much as I was willed to and, as a whole, it made for a satisfying read. Bravo, and thanks for updating so rapidly - although, looking back on what I wrote, I wonder how I would have thought of this story if it were released in a more lackadaisical schedule? Oh well, that's for alternate-universe-Joe to decide.
Author's Response: Wow, this is massive. Thanks so much! I canâ€™t wait to see everything youâ€™ve said. Since this is such a long review, Iâ€™m going to respond to you by paragraph to make my life easier.
So, letâ€™s talk about Harry. Thanks so much. Yes, the beaten Harry has been done to death and I am very, very happy to hear that my version is well received. I think this plot pursued so often becauseâ€¦wellâ€¦what kind of shape is he really going to be in after the war? Sure, I can write him moving on better, but I think itâ€™s important to explore this possibility too. Thank you so much for your comments on him.
*dies laughing* Luciusâ€™ redemption is unearned, but everyoneâ€™s suffered for 65 chapters so I donâ€™t really care. Thatâ€™s hilarious. Best line so far. Iâ€™m glad you liked the way I wrote him. He was harder than most characters. I love him. I think he genuinely loves his family and would do just about anything for them. My problem lies in making others see him the way I do. Glad he turned out believable. As for his redemption, it was pretty much unearned. I agree, but I donâ€™t think he was the only one forgiven without really deserving it in this story. Letâ€™s face it, most of these characters have done some pretty horrible things and it would be very hard to truly make-up for them. At some point, if forgiveness is going to be a thing, it takes a leap of faith from the person giving it. I saw Draco forgiving him because heâ€™s his father and all he ever really wanted was his love in the first place. Harry made the choice to forgive him for Draco. Lucius was trying to make a mence and with everything that was going on, Harry felt it was better to have a fresh start with him then to make everything harder for everyone by holding on to the past. Had Lucius screwed-up again, Harry probably wouldnâ€™t have forgiven him - period. End of long rationalization. Again, thanks so much for your comments on Lucius. He really is a hard character to write well.
Iâ€™m intrigued by your comments about Narcissa. These Iâ€™ll have to think about. Iâ€™m actually kind of surprised. Most of my feedback on her has been positive and she is my favorite character ever. The story was actually born around her. Very interesting. I really appreciate this feedback and will consider it more.
I totally agree that Draco had a slow start. It was hard to work him in the way I wanted from the very beginning. Many of his first scenes were with Lucius and at the time he wasnâ€™t showing his true character around his father. He wasnâ€™t afraid of him, but he very much wanted to please him. As he got involved with Harry and faced the idea of losing his mother, he grew-up a bit and came more into his own, in my opinion, which helped his character grow, even around Lucius.
Random note before I read the whole bit on Hermione. Bonging Georgeâ€™s brains out. Lovely. Great line. You made me laugh.
The Hermione/George thing. Yes. Well, I struggled with every aspect of it. I ended up with a theme to match the title and Hermione obviously needed to be saved and move on with her life as much as any other character. As the only characters I ever ship her with are Draco and Ron that presented a problem in and of itself. George was a random, and in the end regrettable choice for me. I didnâ€™t enjoy it and may have rushed over it. The truth is, I needed Hermione to find love again and it was the plot point that ultimately led to Dracoâ€™s little stunt and getting them all at the hospital in the end for the big finale. I am disappointed with how parts of it turned out. And now that you mention it, I can totally see how I should consider the speed of it, as well.
I LOVE your comments on Andromeda. You responded to her exactly how I wanted you to. I got a lot of responses about her and most of them were not what I was going for. People out and out hated her without trying to see her side. Then there were others that agreed with her, saying she should let Narcissa die. I really didnâ€™t want people to take a side here. I wanted to show her struggle and have readers see the turmoil. That being said, everyone has their own set of circumstances and reasons for strongly choosing a side. In the end, Iâ€™m just happy if they enjoyed the story, rather they saw it the way I meant or not. After all, I donâ€™t think J. K. Rowling intended for us to be shipping Drarry. People see things differently than the writer expects. That being said, itâ€™s very gratifying when someone sees things exactly the way you meant for them to be seen. So thank you so much for that.
In closing from me, thank you so much. I beyond appreciate all your insights. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am not a fan of same sex pairings and I never felt your portrayal of the Malfoys was sound. What you have done is create a story I dare not stop reading to the end. A true story teller. Well done.
Author's Response: Thank you for sticking with it til the end.
So now are gone the daily updates, gone is the constant of this story. But, we enjoyed it while it lasted, and I will - probably tomorrow, maybe the day after - write a review on all of this. I have a handful of gripes, and right now I am far too tired to divulge into them. All I can say is: thanks for the tale!
Author's Response: Sounds good. Thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I just realized it said it was completed! Sniff! I've really enjoyed this story!!!
Author's Response: Thanks so much! Thanks for sticking on til the end and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Author's Response: I miss it already,
Omigosh!! This is soooo amazing!!! I'm really sad that its over!!!
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I'm actually sad it's over, too.
This was beautiful!! Just beautiful! I think, while there are probably still issues there, this was a brilliant start to rebuilding!! Love it!
Author's Response: Well, in this entire group there will always be some issues and regrets. As a group, not just with Cissa and Andromda, but with everyone in this story, they've all been through a lot and done some monumentally stupid things. The point is about forgiving them and moving on. Chances are some issues will continue to crop up in their lives, but the major ones have been discussed so I have to believe they can handle whatever comes next. Thanks so much for all the reviews you've left on this story. I'm about to post the last chapter.
Perfect! Best response ever!
Author's Response: Poor Cissa. She was a little out of it. She won't fully remember that comment when she wakes up...
Fantastically brilliant as always! Love the picture you painted there of Lucius and Teddy, really adorable! When I leave you a comment that says you've left me sobbing, laughing, or some weird combination of both, it's my highest compliment! I've read stories before where I read it and went on but this one seems to toy with to the point that I leave grinning like an idiot (like now) or crying like a baby!
Author's Response: I love reviews that talk about emotions like that. I just love knowing that my stories have the ability to get those kinds of reactions. It really means a lot. Thanks so much. :)
Author's Response: There are a few of them in this story. :)
Fresh wave of sobbing happy freaked out tears!!
Author's Response: Thank you...I think.
Is this the Bullstrode we know and hate?
Author's Response: I just remembered the name from the seires and borrowed it.
Hurray!! Hurray!! I'm glad I was off reading this by myself because I'm fairly certain I was saying what Hermione was saying out loud and rather loudly!
Author's Response: Yay! You read fan fic like me. In a way that would cause normal people to look at you funny, I tend to read alone in the middle of the night. :)
I am a complete sobbing mess now!!
Author's Response: I can't help it, comments like this make me happy. I guess, I'm just evil and like making people cry.
I knew Andromeda would come thru! I dont really like slash, but I have stuck with this story just to see what happens.
Author's Response: Thanks for reading. I'm glad I kept you interested despite your feelings about slash.
Better get a move on.
Author's Response: She is kinda cutting it close, huh?
I have to submit another one here. I literally check my email and this site every few hours to see if the story updated! I am that hooked on it! Love it!
Author's Response: Thanks soooo much. That really made my night.
About freaking time :-)
Author's Response: Yeah...she did take her sweet time about it.