Oh, I really enjoyed this! I love post-war George-centric fics when the characters and circumstances are handled as honestly as they were here. Well done. Molly is pitch perfect. The atmosphere in the house, even down to where everyone was situated in the room, was heavy and just so, so sad. Molly's defeat in deciding to let Teddy have some cake rather than wait any longer for George was painful to read but a perfect look into a real life moment. If a birthday cake is eaten before the guest of honor arrives, something has indeed gone very wrong. And Molly's line at the end of the first section describes her so well post-Fred. Her statement that she will not lose another son beautifully shows both the sorrrow and the fight in her, the battle between mourning and living that is such a hard thing in grieving. You continued to develop her character in the conversation between George and Angelina. We see the mistake she made at Christmas and what George thinks about it, and then, finally, Angelina's pronouncement that Molly would probably wait for him forever. Very true. Beautiful portrayal of Molly in this fic, especially considering she was only present in the beginning. My only question in that first section had to do with POV. To be in both Bill's and Molly's heads in such a short section was a little confusing for me. I loved Bill's thoughts, but I think this section might have been stronger if you'd kept only to Molly's POV. Just a suggestion. Another reviewer mentioned your "nothing-but-brave daughter" line as problematic, but I actually thought it was good and provided an accurate look at how Molly would have seen Ginny during that time. Just goes to show how subjective every reader's experience is. The George/Angelina relationship here was lovely. I liked that you wrote Angelina getting choked up when realizing he'd read each and every letter but chosen not to respond. A girl could take it as a compliment that he knew the exact number, but she had so desperately needed to hear from him that this news was upsetting. Really nice character development there. At the same time, I completely believed that he was just not able to respond. Grief often defies explanation and sense, and this section really showed that for George. And yet, his humor is still there. The conversation at times was gut-wrenching, and yet you ended with a smile. Poor George and his failure to look surprised! Loved this, and the glimpse back at his school antics with Fred. In terms of formatting, you might take a look at paragraph breaks. I sometimes noticed a new character's action appearing without a new paragraph. This fic is so well done in every other way that one good edit would (in my opinion) result in a QSQ-quality story. "The sun had been so bright that day she'd had to squint through the duration of the funeral. She remembered the surrealness of it all vividly. A war hero, Fred had been called. And Angelina had realized, with a heart-jolting shock, that it was true." Those lines were my very favorite, closely followed by the section explaining how George could much more easily find his brother back at The Burrow, in the faces of all his immediate family members. A beautiful insight, and a beatiful story. Lovely writing. ~Lori
Gorgeous fic. Just amazing - your portrayal of George and Angelina is so perfect :)
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review. I am glad you enjoyed it!
Author's Response: Thank you, I am so glad you think so!
I was really glad to have read this story, for I saw the summary and expected complete D/A, though it wasn’t even categorized as this and it wasn’t completely. This set it apart from many other stories, because there have been so many about this loss and because of this, it is important to make a story on this topic your own. You did this very well.
I love the metaphors you used, they’re almost haunting and fit the mood perfectly. You describe things in fantastic detail that allows me to have images going through my mind as I read. Sometimes this doesn’t work as well, but here it’s great. I especially liked the description of the characters, and the cemetery was amazing as well. It’s almost like you’re characterizing an object, a place, and describing it. Something else I really enjoyed how you don’t call everyone by their name, or call them something different every time. It really helps so that we don’t get sick of hearing one character’s name.
The characterization of Molly is spot-on, even though we don’t see many stories focused on her. I really enjoyed the relationship that you’ve portrayed with Angelina and George - it suits what we’ve seen of Angelina so well, and George too. Your description of how people feel in loss is spot-on - at least, it’s exactly how I have felt, in the case of loss. This just made the story much more connectable and realistic.
I enjoyed the level of your vocabulary that you used - it’s slightly advanced, but not too much so. You did have a couple of SPaG errors, but they didn’t draw away from the story too much. Just giving it a read-through, or having someone else do so, would make it better.
“And Ginny's -- her beautiful, nothing-but-brave daughter, who bounced the semi-placated Teddy in her arms, Harry standing close behind.” This sentence bothered me slightly - it almost sounds like Molly is insulting Ginny by saying that she’s ‘nothing but brave’. Possibly change this to something like ‘oh so brave daughter’ or something of that sort, to make sure your readers know whether or not you’re trying to say something good about Ginny or not.
I enjoyed how you had the addition of Bill and Fleur’s child - it made it so that it wasn’t just George’s story. Another thing I loved was how Angelina came in, I wasn’t expecting her but it was a nice surprise. It gave us that little light, the little flicker of hope and romance, in a dark place. I liked the differences that Angelina pointed out between George and Fred, it is probably something not many of us would have thought of. I certainly haven’t, and it made me see both of them in a new light.
“The little dash separating two dates.” I swear, this sentence gave me chills and I had to read it over again. I don’t know if you created this, but I’ve never heard it before and it is fantastic.
I feel like your story gives us the message that, however well - or not - we may get over it, a loss will always stay with us. The snippet from the background of Angelina’s relationship with George was perfect. The little joke at the end made it all a bit resolved and happier, so that you didn’t leave us with a completely depressed feeling.
Thank you so much for writing this, and putting it out there so that people could read it. I enjoyed reading it, and reviewing as well and hope that this makes you feel good about your story. I’m glad that I clicked on the title! Great job again ~
Author's Response: I'm not even sure how to respond to such a thorough review. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave this, it was wonderful to read your thoughts.
Loss is so strange to write about, I think, because almost every one has experienced it to a degree and experienced it differently. It's hard to pinpoint feelings on the topic, so I would say I am pleased that you found it connectable in that regard, but that feels crude to me as I'm sorry that you had to experience it enough to have an opinion on it in the first place.
About the 'dash separating two dates' comment -- I think it is so interesting you found it to be fantastic. I remember the first funeral I ever attended, the person giving the eulogy said something along the line of how we are all so much more than the dash that represents our lives. It was ages ago, but it always stuck with me because I thought it was so very true and wonderful in a way. So I can't take credit for it, but I'm glad it seemed to give you the same feeling it gave me when I first heard it.
Thanks for suggestion on the 'nothing but brave' line, I never would have thought of it that way until you mentioned it, but I think you are right. I will also keep an eye out for the SPaG errors, as I know my mind gets ahead of my fingers way too often.
Thank you again for such an extensive review. It made my day that you took the time to leave it, and particularly that you said you were glad you clicked the title. That's really the best thing you can hear about something you write.
I thought that was really well done.
Author's Response: Glad you thought so. And thank you for reviewing!