Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/12/15 7:06
Chapter: Chapter 11 Epilogue

One last thought on this story…this is a story I will be coming back to and reading again and again. You're a masterful storyteller who knows how to engage an audience and keep its interest until your tale is told. The world needs more writers like you.

Author's Response: I began my writing career with the compulsion to write this one particular story, and then continued posting stories in a feeling of brotherhood with the other authors who post stories here also, wanting to see if I could at least keep up with them. Friends would ask, "Are you going to write a book someday?" and I would just say that I was only trying to learn how to write and was far from publishing anything, if ever. Your remarks have given me the idea that maybe it is not an impossible dream. Thank you very much for your support.
Vicki

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/12/15 6:53
Chapter: Chapter 11 Epilogue

As you can tell by the dates and times of my reviews, I started at one end of your story and read straight through to the opposite end. The story you tell is one I've thought about many times, but haven't had the courage to research and write myself or had the opportunity to read about in fan fics on other sites: no one seems to want to explore Harry psychologically or the ramifications of child abuse on its victims much more than simply inflicting it on Harry, mostly, I think, because it's easier to imagine the abuse than the long term results on Harry's psyche and personality. You, however, have done the research and written a masterful and insightful story that is full of human interest and holds the reader from start to finish. It was a case of needing to read "just one more paragraph" until there were no more paragraphs to read and the tale was told. I really like the end with Harry remembering the feeling of what it was like to be read the children's books by someone who showed him a little bit of love and kind human contact at a time when he needed it most. Thank you for sharing this story. It's given me a lot to think about.

Author's Response: I am impressed that you read the whole story in one sitting, because that job does take several hours. I have read little on other sites because there seemed to be a lot (but not all) of low-quality stuff, so I never went back to those sites, but, like you, I never saw this subject addressed, and it seemed to be an important omission. Luckily I had done some research in it during my years in Nursing School at the University of Washington, but still it was a bigger task, and a longer story, than I had anticipated. It is my first story on this site, and although my writing skill has improved during the two years since it was posted, it will always hold a very special place in my heart, as having come directly from the heart.
Thank you so much for the complimentary things you say about this story. Your words mean a lot to me.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/12/15 2:27
Chapter: Chapter 10 The Last Funeral

This story just keeps getting better and better. Ginny's a genius for figuring out how Harry can say good-bye to the person he was before 31 October 1981. He's needed to do that for many years because as a child he didn't know how to mourn the loss of his parents and Petunia and her family certainly weren't going to help him grieve. Now that he's had the chance to say good-bye, it seems to me that with the acceptance and support of all the people at The Burrow's table, Harry will hopefully stop having the bad dreams. Harry took a big personal risk in confiding his activities and experiences and I'm glad that they all acted in character, right down to Molly's indignation and slightly prejudicial remarks. Your Arthur is just as he is in the books, patient and willing to share his thoughts at the moment they have the most value. I'm glad it was him who identified the root of Harry's dreams.

Author's Response: Ginny went to so many funerals after the Battle of Hogwarts, including her own brother's funeral, so I suppose that by now she understands and appreciates their value. And everyone instantly agrees to her suggestion without objecting because they sense the value of it also, for the same reason. It was a welcome challenge to try to keep all the participants in character during this rather emotional chapter; they are all unique, reacting in their own way but complementing one another so well. And although Arthur can seem to be a humorous character at times, who doesn't take himself too seriously, he is also observant and wise, as you note, and says the right thing at the right time. Molly is too emotionally involved to see the true meaning of the dream, and the others are too young.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/12/15 1:32
Chapter: Chapter 9 The Bombing of Coventry

Oh, I love Harry's first experiment with being a child! I'm so glad he is sharing the moment with Ginny. I have a big smile on my face just thinking about him giving himself permission to have fun!

The other thing I love about this chapter is the history it includes. When one stops to think on it, one can learn so much from people who lived through a particular era. One of my favorite historical eras in World War II. I know a lot about American involvement in the war, but next to nothing of what it was like to live in the UK during that time. I actually find myself a bit jealous of Harry and Ginny for being able to talk to someone who actually experienced the Blitz. I think they learned a lot more than they thought during their talk with Mrs. Figg.

Author's Response: Over the years I have seen many wonderful documentaries on television about World War II, including programs about England's experience in that war, and there is a lot of information on the internet, including first-hand accounts. such as from people who sheltered in the crypts during the bombing, praying to avoid a direct hit. World War II was the signature event of the twentieth century, and as those who experienced it are dying off, we are losing something precious.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/12/15 0:41
Chapter: Chapter 8 Ginny Comes Home

Ginny's support of her husband's quest seems to be just what he needs and while she might not be saying much, just her presence seems to be helping him as he researches the answers to his questions. Well done.

Author's Response: Up to this point, Harry has been talking only to strangers, people whom he never has to see again if he doesn't want to. It is a big step to open up to his wife, someone from whom he cannot run away afterwards. It was wise, on her part, not to say too much; she is demonstrating to him that he can be frank and honest about these matters and nothing bad will happen as a result.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/12/15 0:06
Chapter: Chapter 7 St. Stephen's Church

Your last sentence makes a lot of sense. I think Harry is right on target with that thought. As for his going back to Patricia's group the next month, I think Harry's going to base his decision on whether to show up or not on Ginny's reaction when he tell her about his "secret." I have a feeling that she's going to be very supportive of him and his quest to be a better person and father.

Author's Response: I never had a strong feeling about whether Harry was going to go back or not. I think that it did him a world of good just to bring everything out into the open for the first time in his life, in a completely safe environment, even safer than the Burrow in Chapter 10. What he might need further help in, if anything, is accomplishing the necessary changes in his automatic internal assumptions, his inevitably distorted thinking patterns.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/11/15 23:25
Chapter: Chapter 6 The Institute of Psychiatry

Research often takes the form that Harry's day has in this chapter. Hermione would be proud of his persistence, perturbed that he hoodwinked the receptionist into letting him into the library and gratified that he was able to find the book he needed to answer his questions. He seems very satisfied with the fruits of his labors. Well done.

Author's Response: You think that Hermione would have been perturbed? Well, she probably could not have avoided reacting at least a little bit to his desperate measures, but I'll bet she would have cut him a little slack, appreciating how desperate he was and how few options he had. And it's a good example of how a thing that we think is going to be simple to accomplish turns out to be a lot harder and more time-consuming than we anticipated. Persistence, perhaps born of desperation, is a feature of his behavior throughout this story.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/11/15 22:54
Chapter: Chapter 5 Volunteer Night

Things seem to be looking up because Harry was able to get some information on the subject he was interested in. Very interesting chapter.

Author's Response: I'm glad you thought it was interesting. Perhaps many people would have left at the intermission, but I wrote Harry to be like me, staying until the bitter end so as not to miss the chance that something useful might possibly appear. And that was a smart strategy.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/11/15 22:41
Chapter: Chapter 4: The Barren Gardens

Nice chapter. While I don't think the volunteer training is what Harry needs, it's an opportunity to learn about resources and perhaps get connected with someone who can help him directly. I like how relaxed Harry is in Ginny's presence; she really is his best source of comfort and probably he hers. I also like how they give each other permission to be silly as well as delight in their closeness by holding hands.

Author's Response: I was trying to depict Ginny as being very supportive, not argumentative or self-centered, because what Harry needs right now is support, and I would like to think that she senses that, even though one might think that because she is the pregnant person, she is the one who needs the most support. But they support each other.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/11/15 22:15
Chapter: Chapter 3: The American Visitor

I'm so glad Harry had lunch with Pamela. She gave him permission to act on his dreams, which is a good thing, and will hopefully help him resolve his childhood issues. Well done.

Author's Response: Yes, by sheer dumb luck, she was the person he needed to talk to. Sometimes it happens that way.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/11/15 21:31
Chapter: Chapter 2 The Sign in the Plaza

Poor Harry! His past seems to be catching up with him just when he should be happily anticipating the birth of his first child. I hope he'll be able to get some help soon.

Author's Response: It's not a coincidence that his past is catching up with him at the time he is expecting his first child. And painful though it may be for him, it will turn out o be just what he needs.

Reviewer: Arnel
Date: 01/11/15 21:13
Chapter: Chapter 1 Infanticide

I think Harry's unconscious mind is just formulating the dreams because he's afraid during waking hours that he'll turn out to be like his uncle or worse. Hopefully, he'll end up talking his fears out with someone understanding and willing to let him express those fears in an accepting atmosphere.

Now on to the next chapter.

Author's Response: Well, the dreams themselves are certainly putting that fear into him. He is feeling very alone right now on account of them. And confused.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 08/07/14 11:25
Chapter: Chapter 11 Epilogue

That was a lovely ending to a very well thought out and researched story. I enjoyed this very much. I plan to go on and read more of your work.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for writing a comment on each chapter. I am very glad that you enjoyed it.
Vicki

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 08/06/14 18:05
Chapter: Chapter 10 The Last Funeral

The funeral was a really good idea. I wonder, in your experience or research, does that really work? Can someone throw a funeral and say goodbye to something and then feel better about it? Anyway, you almost had this tough, mature bird in tears. That's not easy to do.

Author's Response: I think that a ceremonial closure to a tough situation really does help. It recognizes the situation but at the same time writes 'finis' to it, and helps us leave the baggage behind and move forward freely into a new chapter of our lives. Harry's final realization, "I wasn't bad. I was just a little kid. I just wanted to be loved," is an actual quote from a survivor.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 08/06/14 16:08
Chapter: Chapter 9 The Bombing of Coventry

When I read about the carousel ride I felt nauseated. I remembered how I felt when I did things like that as a child. I enjoyed the visit with Mrs. Figg. Once again, I like how you're showing that Muggles have magic too.

Author's Response: This was an enjoyable chapter to research: England's economy during the Great Depression, events of World War II, family situations during and after the war. I'd like to think that her husband was really handsome and a nice guy.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 08/06/14 14:27
Chapter: Chapter 8 Ginny Comes Home

It's a damn shame that no one can talk to Harry about his early life. Could he maybe visit Petunia and Vernon and put them under some sort of magic and get the truth? I know they probably wouldn't tell the truth because who wants to admit they were child abusers. I realize this is a moot point since you have already finished the story:D

Author's Response: Yes, he has already concluded that there is nothing to be gained from that source. Thank you for reading and reviewing.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 08/06/14 13:59
Chapter: Chapter 7 St. Stephen's Church

Very educational chapter. I can really understand what you're saying. It makes a lot of sense. I liked how Harry brought in characters from his past as examples. Nicely done.

Author's Response: This is the point where Harry finally takes his courage in both hands and spills his guts, which up until this point he has not done at all. But until he does it, he can never go forward. Thank you for saying that it was understandable and educational. This also comes from my nursing school experience.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 07/31/14 18:45
Chapter: Chapter 6 The Institute of Psychiatry

I'm glad he was able to Apparate home. That was pretty clever, having his wand do the work. It looks like you did some serious research for this chapter. I like how you're combining magic with Muggle in this story. There seems to be a respect (at least on Harry's part) for some of the magic in Muggle things.

Author's Response: Hi, and thanks for the review. Everything you mention is spot-on. It was a highly-researched chapter, but everything is on the internet now! Floor plans of buildings, titles of books in the library of the Institute of Psychiatry, even the titles of articles in the journals, photos and descriptions, underground and railway maps... Harry is venturing out into the Muggle world quite a bit in this story, but that is where his answers lie. Still, he uses magic to make his journey a little easier, such as for selecting the book (what a miracle, it worked!) and getting home promptly at the end.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 07/31/14 14:41
Chapter: Chapter 5 Volunteer Night

I kind of feel that Harry is worried over nothing. There is nothing wrong with taking special precautions though, I guess.

Author's Response: Again, modeled after something I did at nursing school, down to the kid who wasn't afraid to eat the food.

Reviewer: Fynnsmom
Date: 07/31/14 13:36
Chapter: Chapter 4: The Barren Gardens

I think it would've been fun to visit the gardens in Harry's neighborhood although they sound like they're in poor shape. I suppose they could start by beautifying their own garden area--by setting an example. You really have to wonder where children played.

Author's Response: Unfortunately the Muggles would not be able to see his spruced-up garden because they cannot see Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, so they would not be inspired by his example to clean up their own places. However, visiting witches or wizards would be able to see it.

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