I used to write.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Narcissa Malfoy wishes for her son to marry, but Draco is not content with her decision. Though, when a young woman enters his life in an unusual way, he finds himself wondering if he feels more than just the need to possess her.
This stories is the prequel to A Christmas to Remember, but can be read alone.
It was a beautiful story- I really liked the characterisation of Draco, and how, whilst still being a Malfoy (I particularly liked the line "A Malfoy never ran away. We rescheduled, but we never ran.") he's become someone we can warm to and respect. I also liked Astoria- particularly the description/ build up to their first kiss. Beautiful story
Author's Response: Thank you. I'm glad you liked the characterisation. :)
I LOVE ALphard. Made me burst out laughing, and love how he confounds all Ginny's expectations of a typical Slytherin so quickly. Looking forward to the next chapter!
Minna that was beautiful. I love the fact that you don't look at the moment when she actually "breaks up" with Severus, but at her getting ready for that moment instead. I also like the way you describe Mary and Lily's friendship- I think it's very realistic and not over the top.
I also love the way Lily logically and sensibly thinks about her relations with James and Severus. It's not over the top, but the way it is set out to lead to her conclusions is very clever.
I also love the ending. It's the right balance of implying what will happen later and not taking things too quickly.
I also love the image of James being "like a dog that knew it had done something wrong." As well as being quite cute I think it highlights the difference between him and Severus.
Anyway great story- thank you!
Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing - and for liking the story! It makes me happy that you guys think my reasoning makes sense.
I take a deep breath so my voice won’t shake.
“What would you do if we died tomorrow?”
He takes a step away from me, but still keeps me in his arms. “What?”
“What would you do if you knew that we died tomorrow?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“Don’t give me that, James. You know that we are going to die soon. There is no point in pretending that we aren’t.”
James and Lily have a conversation two days before Halloween.
That story was adorable. Whilst ostensibly being about something as mundane as everyday life I think you beautifully captured all the characters you mentioned. It was sweet, and fluffy without being sickeningly sweet, and I think you captured the relationship between Lily and James really well.
However I also liked your little characterisations of the others, like Remus being a flatterer, and Harry liking to chew redheads' hair. I LOVED the part where Lily suggested he might have a husband, which shows an optimism in her in terms of the gay rights movement and also Sirius' response. I love Sirius, but you can definitely see him as a heterosexual man who is slightly wary of gays.
I love how honest James and Lily are. It helps prove that they really could have spent the rest of their lives together. And the way they know they are going to die but try to enjoy things for now. I also loved the way James was playing 'mother' to Harry while Lily wanted to get him back into bed. That is a very rambling review- but thank you so much for a beautiful story that held the attention throughout and managed to be optimistic despite the reader's knowledge that James and Lily will die, partly because we know Harry doesn't (again, squeal over Hungarian Horntail reference which would have seemed clunky in a poor story but here managed to fit seamlessly). Thank you!
Author's Response: I think that I should be thanking you, not the other way around! I'm glad that you liked the other characters characterizations. I'm so happy that you loved that Harry might have a husband. I can't tell you how happy I am that you wrote that paragraph. I think that Sirius could be too. It's a shame, though. I'm so glad that the Hungarian Horntail fit. I was worried about that part. I wasn't sure if it would fit or if it would ruin the story. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story, and you are welcome for me making it, I guess? Well, thanks again!
I really enjoyed this chapter- though I have to say stick a collapsing buliding covered in plants into a story and you've got me happy.
I love the complete contrast in tone from the beginning of the first chapter to thebeginning of the second.
I also like the way James' first thought was anger and Peter, but his second was looking for his wife and child. I think that shows how much he's matured- I also thought it was very realisitc that he was so bent on searching for them that he did not really think about the state the house was in.
I think the most powerful thing however was James remembering he did not like having the curtains closed because he liked the night sky, and the promise of freedom, and then the fact that once he gains freedom it is to find daylight and rubble.
One thing is that the ending of this chapter seems very rushed. I'm sorry I can't really give any more constructive criticism than that, but the shift from joy at finding Lily alive and realising Harry is not with her could possiblky have been emphasised further by a bit more of a build up to finding Lily in the rubble. I don't know- but I really did enjoy this chapter in particular and really think the concept is an interesting one- looking forward to reading the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thanks very much for reviewing! I'll have another look at the ending when I've got the time. Thanks again :)
I think I reviewed this story ages ago but had forgotten just how good it is. I love the way you build up to the friends meeting again, and also the fact that, for a story with chapters with so little dialogue, you manage to keep up the pace without the characters' confusion becoming boring. It is incredibly moving. We all know what has happened, and what they've missed but somehow the way you've written the story brings that home. I think my favourite moment thus far has been Remus watching Neville and Oliver with Dora. It was just a poignant and terribly sad image. I'm glad you've decided to finish this story! Alex x
Hello Kara- I thought Iād leave you a review for the first two chapters of your story :)
First of all, I love the style this story is written in. It is very distinctive, because whilst its mostly Remusā POV, thereās also a certain knowingness about the narration which is very light but also amusing. For example:
But Remus had already disappeared up the stairs anyway, and Dumbledore must have thought it unwise to press that matter further, especially in the light of what he was going to ask of Mr Lupin, so the two men disappeared into the sitting room.
This is very distant from Remusā POV but also suggests some sort of intimacy. I canāt really explain it better than that, but you do the same thing here:
staring at the stranger with round eyes and a curiosity only children could bear without embarrassment.
where obviously Remus would not be aware of how he appears, but the narrator is. However the narrator is also capable of getting into Remusā head as shown by this description of how he had already completely pictured in his head (and so wonderful it was)? of Hogwarts, which is a lovely touch of how idyllic he sees it as being, and far removed from his current life.
I seem to be quoting alot of your own writing back at you--serves me right for doing this in the middle of an essay-writing break (sorry about that) but I do think your style is lovely, so thought it worth talking rather a lot about. However occasionally this style can be rather detached from the story. For example, when Dumbledore says āāOh yes, I did,ā the visitor answered.ā referring to him as the visitor, given heās already been named in the narration seems a bit odd.
However your dialogue is lovely. I particularly love the interactions of Remus and his father, though in this case: please, go to your room to read while Professor Dumbledore and I talk, right? where the ārightā here didnāt sound very naturalistic, and a bit unnecessary as a word in that context anyway.
I do love your characterisation of Dumbledore. Heās wise, knowing, and obviously slightly perplexing to Remusā father, particularly when he says: āBut I donāt!ā To Remusā astonishment, the visitorās voice sounded almost happy. which is just a lovely example of Dumbledore playing with peopleās expectations of him. I also like the way he doesnāt tell Remusā father that Remus was eavesdropping on them, because Dumbledore has a playful side and is almost always on the childrenās side, so that was excellent characterisation.
Likewise I thought Remus was very well-written. You got a strong sense of the strength of his relationship with his father, as well as, however, the isolation of being a werewolf, and not having had much interaction with people his own age. However I think Remus is intelligent enough to have asked some questions about his possible education--after all, he reads alot so chances are heād know what the norm was, and therefore would know something about Hogwarts, so the sentence: What was Hogwarts? sounded a bit odd, and the idealisation of Hogwarts I think would have happened prior to Dumbledoreās arrival.
I thought the way his isolation meant, instead of craving attention/ company, he searched for an empty compartment. Also you donāt mention his isolation that explicitly--you say things like:
never in his life had he seen so many people in one place,let alone children of his own age.
Which shows very clearly that heās not had much company, but doesnāt tell us.
And I think I said earlier, but Iāll say it again, that I loved the characterisation of Remusā dad. He was concerned, but always caring, nervous about letting Remus go, puritanical about buying too much stuff, but also obviously with a lot of love for his son. You do it very subtly, and the reader knows this by the time you say:
He rarely showed such emotion and affection to Remus
I did find his reiterating of the plan with the whomping willow on a crowded station platform slightly risky though, and out of character given the care heād shown before. You could get round this to Remus recalling a time when they had discussed the plan earlier, if you want.
I loved their final conversation though. Everything was so nicely done- the realisation of what Remusā father had done, having been with his son during the transformations, emphasises his love for his son, as does the final wink and wave he gives Remus at the end was very sweet, without being too sickly sweet.
As I hope you can tell, I really enjoyed this story and am very much looking forward to reading/beta-ing the rest. Alex
Author's Response: Oooh thank you so much for this! Wow, I don't think I've had a review in ages! :D And this is an amazing one :) I can't believe how long ago I wrote this story. I thought the date stamp was broken just now because I was sure it was only one year ago... I think the reason why Remus didn't know about Hogwarts was that he got mostly Muggle books to read. So he might know about school in general, but I'm not sure he would have heard about Hogwarts. Certainly, his father would have nipped any sort of curiosity on the subject in the bud. I hope I can retain this style as I keep writing... Really, it's so great that you like it! :D I was a bit worried that it wouldn't be your sort of story at all, which would ahve made the betaing a bit awkward I think... You're right about the conversation in the end - I'm not sure anyone would overhear them, but they'd probably try and be more cautious. Hopefully, I'll get the next chapter to you soon! Again, thank you so so much for this wonderful review! :)
"James Sirius Potter, it is the judgment of the Wizengamot that you have been found guilty. You knowingly, in possession of sound mind and body, used the Cruciatus Curse and the Killing Curse in the intentional torture and murder of one Gregory Goyle the Third."
James Potter was going to Azkaban for the rest of his natural life, and his whole family was in shambles. His wife and child have fled the country, his sister was missing, and his parents were a wreck. However, James knew that he had larger problems: his guilt was coming more and more in question.
Though he knew that James was withholding information about the circumstances of the murder of which he had been found guilty, Harry had secrets of his own; however, even he could not handle this torrent of trouble alone. Can Harry trust his darkest confidences to anyone? Even family?Ā
How will the Potter clan stop the downward spiral into pain and disaster, and can they recover what they've lost?
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Next-Generation Story.
Jess! I know I said ages ago I would read "Vindication" and am only just getting round to it now, but I am reading it (just when I have two essays to write-hence breaking here). I am already hooked. The letter Harry wrote James was beautifully put and trust Harry to think of ways to communicate with James. It's so sweet that he would endure the pain in his scar in order to stay connected to his son. I am very, very intrigued and I love your characterisation. The family bond keeps on getting stressed and, as all the characters I think need to be reminded of it, it doesn't get boring. Due to the epic lengths of your chapters it might be a while before I review again, but I'm really enjoying it so far. The detail you put into your writing is amazing. I'm very intrigued/ worried about Lily and Father Gregory. This doesn't bode well, even though whatever James did should be all sorted and closed now (if that makes sense) it obviously isn't. Why haven't Lily's family found her though? That's worrying. So worrying I might have to carry on reading this now. I already love the chronology you have built up between the Epilogue and the events of this story (Arthur being Minister of law Enforcement/ Ginny's Quidditch accident/ the characterisation of Harry and his role in the Government. And Nana Weasley (I call my grandma Nana!) )
Will read the rest of this story as soon as possible and am sure I'll enjoy it as much as I have thus far.
Oh, wow! I have no idea how you could have the time to read this monstrously long story with as many stories as you're working on yourself. I'm jealous of your time management skills. :)
Strictly speaking, Harry has always treated most rules as arbitrary and not always to be followed, so showing favouritism toward his own son in prison is an extension of that. The Lily situation is far more complex, but it'll become clearer in the next few chapters or so. A lot of hidden plot points will be revealed in chapters 9 and 10, as well. There are more twists and turns in this story than a plate of spaghetti, I do have to say, hehe.
I'm actually in the process of editing this story, so next time around, there may be some things which are different. I'm glad you enjoy the original version, though, as it is my very first fan fiction and gigantic, novel-length piece. Thank you very much for the review, and I hope to have not scared you away in later chapters. XD
Jess! I can't wait for Draco and Albus to head to Azkaban. I love your characterisation of Draco. He has changed completely and that is completely natural but is still haunted by the actions of his father. I loved the dialogue between him and Albus. It worked really well.
Maybe it's just because I've heard so many things about your story, but I did expect Goyle to turn out to be a -- and rapist, but the way you described it, jumping form James' memory and then slipping into Lily's pov was beautifully done. I think you needed to make it graphic. It makes us sympathise with Lily all the more. And James is a fantastic brother. I loved the line "the man was a monster and did not deserve to live, but did he deserve to die?" It's a very subtle distinction but a good one.
I also like the way James morality means that he feels someone has to be punished. Personally I would have covered everything up, which makes James of course a much better person than me.
Your characterisation is so solid! There's no weak link, every character is fully realised which, considering all we know about most of these characters is their name, and you are writing so far from JK's canon that in some ways even people like Draco and Harry are OCs (if that makes sense).
Although I am curious as to what happened between James getting arrested and Lily going missing. Whilst James, pretty much throughout the chapter, behaves brilliantly (and the scene where he heals Lily is so-- horrible but at the same time shows how much he cares about her) that it's rather amiss of him to leave Lily alone, even for a moment. Can't wait to read on!
(PS-Thanks for complimenting my time management skills but really they consist of writing my stories/ reading stuff not on course list/ and then writing essays/ reading course books at three a.m. See if that works for you :) )
I have always held that evil is in the eye of the beholder. What could be someone's dastardly deed could be someone else's just desserts. Everyone feels some level of justification for what they do, as least as they're doing it. While 99.999% of humanity would like to see Goyle Jr punished for what he did to Lily, there are always those who see 'crimes' from the other side, the generally assumed 'wrong' side. I've always found the science behind criminal behavior to be fascinating, because I have never truly understood why people do some of the things they do and why they think it was a good idea. This story is actually a giant representation of that.
One thing I've always held it is that everybody changes -- sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I'm not entirely certain that, with the job that he has and his personal sense of responsibility toward the safety to others, Harry was the same person he was when he was young, both morally and psychologically. The things that law enforcement sees... I really think he could have developed a warped sense of justice. This will come into play later in the story.
Draco is another matter. His life was over before he ever got a chance to live it, and it was only after essentially hiding in his own house that he could finally be himself. Yes, he's a snarky little prick when we meet him in the series, but like Harry, he would not come out of the series unchanged. What those changes were are subjective, and I simply chose to believe he could be a better person than he was when his father's beliefs were automatically his own.
Anyway, enough of the thesis on human tendencies and all that. I'm glad you like the story and the new dimensions I've added to known characters and the portrayal of lesser knowns. Enjoy the rest of the story, and I look forward to your next visit!
This is going to be a horribly random review as I'm basically reading chapters between essays. I thought Anne and Albus might have something at the beginning of the chapter but I didn't expect things to happen THAT fast. Albus is very sweet. I really, really like Albus. I love the way he's getting more confident and his reaction to finding out about Lily was completely understandable. I love the way they are all really, really close. And Albus' conversation with Draco after he found out about Lily was very honest and awkward and really, really well-written. Poor Draco. I told you it would be horribly random but I'm thinking I might as well read this all tonight because it will just be distracting me otherwise so I'll be spamming your inbox with review notifications. Hope that's all right. One little, very minor point- surely Scorpius should quote Draco as saying "kiss his arse?" I know it's fifty or whatever years in the future but I hope that British alternative hasn't died out. That was another thing- I was really surprised the hospital trusted Lily to a priest, given there aren't that many monasteries still active in Britain and presumably even fewer by next-gen time, so I assumed he'd Confounded/ memory modified the doctors into trusting him, even though being a priest doesn't automatically give one the trust it once did. I thought when anne came to Rose's and Scorpius' this meant he hadn't done anything to her, but maybe he has? I hope not, and I'm just reading way too much into this. Arrgh. Rambling. Will read and review soon, Alex x
The thing with Albus (which will be more apparent in later chapters) is that his personal life is a bit... different. There are mitigating factors regarding how this came to be, which are touched upon by another story I'm *trying* to finish at some point, but the short of it was that as a teen, he fell for his best friend (yeah, Albus plays for both teams). When he found out that Scorpius preferred Rose romantically, something inside of Al shut down, and this new, almost robotic person took his place. He became cold toward romance in general and treated sex like some sort of rudimentary bodily function, like scratching an itch or yawning -- not to be given a second thought. He never once noticed that there were girls and maybe even guys who would have loved for him to give them a chance, but he was too steeped in his desire to forget about his own melancholy over Scorpius that he couldn't be bothered to notice the trail of broken hearts of the women he'd slept with while trying to accomplish that.
Anne is a different story. She is, as described, a very beautiful girl. But with that comes a measure of disappointment, because beautiful girls are often pursued by all the wrong reasons, and by the time said girl realises that the person she's with only wanted her because she was hot, her heart had already been broken. There are only so many times this can happen before she becomes a bit jaded about relationships in general. This is why she and Albus clicked so fast; they were almost kindred spirits, two people burnt in relationships in some fashion to the point where they almost too cynical for anyone else.
You're indeed right about the priest thing. Hey, Goyle's a twisted man who kidnapped a pregnant girl, so naturally he's not above Confunding some hospital staff.
And I do apologise for the Briticism. There are a lot of those in this story, as I wrote most of it before I even knew what a Briticism was, lol. I'm working on that in my giant editing scheme.
Thanks for your review, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story. I don't know what chapter you're on, but I'm assuming it's in the late teens. Giant plot development ahead: proceed with anticipation.
As desperate as I am to read the next chapter, I have to review this one. You killed Draco! How could you? And in such a perfect way. I think in many ways that is exactly how Draco wanted to die, because it's a clear sign to the world that he has changed.
So many times during this chapter I swore aloud. When Anne used the Cruciatus curse (which you planned perfectly because Moste Dark Magicke is one of the only magical books she's seen), when Draco died, when, just as Goyle was getting handed to the Aurors I thought everything was going to be all right and then realised it was Barnaby.
I loved the moment when Scorpius almost killed Goyle. The dialogue between him and Anne perfectly described just how close he was to doing it, but then had the strength of character not to. The distinction between 'law' and 'justice' is one which I think all the Potter/ Weasley clan saw as incredibly clear and obvious at chapter 1, but, despite their best efforts, is becoming rapidly more blurred. And what's Harry's secret? Who is the woman? I need to read on!
Hehe, I was wondering when you'd find Draco dead.
Draco was always going to die. From the beginning of the story, Harry has had the arrogance to assume that he can handle this situation via his own agenda, and time and time again he is proven wrong. It was only fitting that the one person who had worked the hardest to be a better man, ironically because it was Harry's testimony which had given him the chance to do that, would be the one to pay the price for it. Harry could deal with dying for a member of his family, maybe even someone he'd never even met, but having yet another person be murdered because of him... he's lost his ability to cope with that. The worst part, though, is that he set it all in motion. He knew what Lily did, and more importantly, what James DIDN'T do, yet he decided to play god and shirk the law. Had he not done any of that, none of this would have happened, including Draco's death.
If any normal human being was faced with the one who murdered a close family member and handed a gun (well, in the Potterverse, a wand), many people would be surprised and disturbed by how close they would come to pulling the trigger. Most wouldn't, but that couldn't be an easy decision to make. That struggle had to be apparent.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the story. This is where it gets kind of, er, convoluted.
Although I really shouldn't, I know I'll finish this story in the next day or two.
Greg's punishment was perfect, and it was very clever of James to think of that. Seeing Crabbe must have been heart-breaking, and for the first time in this story you made me if not pity Greg, at least feel some empathy with him.
The scene between Scorpius and Harry was beautiful. I love the line "his father’s death was not a meaningless one. Unwarranted, yes, but never meaningless." It just expresses perfectly how Draco died.
Your characterisation of Harry has been so well done. His need to help everyone, his tendency to blame everything on himself -- it's all there in JK's Harry, and years of working and now having his family torn apart have just exacerbated them. But that's the thing- the family, whilst the individuals have been battered and bruised still love each other. That bond has not been broken, and this proves that it never will be.
Harry's in a complete state of collapse in this chapter and by God, was that a horrible twist when James had to reveal himself in order to get his father to St. Mungos. But of course he had to.
How long did it take you to plot this? It's got so many twists and turns- did you know how it was going to fall out at the beginning or did it all happen like this?
You know, this story just CAME to me. I didn't struggle with it until I got into the very late chapters and epilogue. I guess I had the vision of it right from the start, and save for a couple little tweaks and baubles, it stayed pretty close to what I had meant it to be.
Shiny, happy Harry, to me, cannot and does not exist post-battle. One cannot simply DIE, wake back up after a quick little chat session, and go on with life like there was nothing else that one could do. I'm sorry, fluff monsters, but I can't, with what I understand of humanity, believe that for a minute. This is why, when I portray a post-Hogwarts Harry, he is often haunted and wrought with an over-developed sense of duty. It fits his personality and his circumstances, and I'm glad you agree. You would not believe the amount of crap I get from some readers becaue they refuse to believe that Harry can be this screwed up.
Read on. The next chapter should be interesting (minus my slaughering of Ginny's character :X).
God. I don't think I've ever used the phrase "emotional roller coaster" before because it's so cliche, but it fits your entire story, but particularly this chapter, so perfectly I have to. (Just read your response to the last chapter I reviewed. Slaughtering Ginny's character- yes. You have. Brilliantly). I had so much to say, but from the moment Ginny said she didn't want a divorce (sigh of relief) to Harry saying he did (which was really understandable but I didn't see coming at all) to them having sex (which isn't healthy, but at the same time understandable) I was on the edge of my seat, eyes pressed to the lap top.
One thing that I find really brilliant is your different portrayals of people in love. Like the scene between James and Augusta was simply lovely, but at the same time Ginny and Harry after thirty odd years are getting a divorce even though they love each other. Anne and Albus are moving so quickly, that, if you did not counterbalance their relationship with others built over time, or in a state of collapse than I may have - not lost interested because your plot is too good, but lost belief in what you are trying to show. If that makes sense. But because you do- and the line about being in love is not always enough. Whilst it's been said many times, it's been said because it's true, unlike all those sayings about "true love conquers all" etc and it fits perfectly in your story. I was so relieved when everything began to happen within the bounds of the law. However there are a few chapters to go, so I'm guessing the fall out from this will continue.
Yes, ex sex is nearly always a bad idea, but I think they both needed that. The one thing that the angry Harry/Ginny shippers who read this story didn't understand is that they didn't get divorced because they hated each other; it happened because they had lost the ability to trust one another. Look at Harry leaving Ginny out of the loop as to what was happening with Lily. Yes, he should have told her that Lily was missing, but he didn't know -- even after decades together -- how she was going to take it. When a person has no idea how their significant other will react to certain news after that long, then it's but one indicator of a broken relationship.
As I said in the Mature Content discussion on the forums, I write adult themes, and this sort of family drama is a part of adult life. I think some of the non-believers in the latter chapters of this story just didn't understand that (I think one reader even demanded that I get them back together).
Anyway, on to your next review. I'm glad you're enthralled enough to sacrifice sleep, lol.
Wow. When I woke up this morning I was not planning on sitting here for three hours finishing your story. I feel absolutely exhausted but don't regret it for a second. You have used characters, some of which we think we know well and otehrs we know nothing about, and put them through hell and back and then through hell again. And everyone is basically behaving the way they are for someone else. Apart from Goyle junior not one of them behaved selfishly, even Goyle senior was behaving the way he was because he thought Lily had hurt his son unprovoked. I like the way Harry's hero complex is explored and eventually, it turns out the one person he cannot save is the person who doesn't want to be saved. It was one thing that really irritated me about DH that Harry, through all he's been through, never actually kills someone but your story makes his attitude to death and the idea of killing someone really, really clear. The moment, I think in the last chapter, where Lily said that she was not sure whether she would, given her time again, kill Goyle or not, and Harry simply does not know how to deal with it.
This is longer than HBP?
The epilogue was really, really good but I can see why you spent so long agonising over it, because it must be difficult to finish something like this on the right note. I think the two contrasting images of Lily's baby (brilliant name choice- if I may so myself- though I'm sure you know Alexander lit. means "defender of mankind" so its' clear that whilst this is a new start, it's also going to be influenced by the events of the past) being born and Katie dying were perfectly chosen. IThe burning building emphasised her death all the more. When something that awful happens, whether having to watch/ aid someone die and not be able to do anything about it, or know that a child and a pregnant woman were tortured and mistreated in such a place, then in a way burning it down is the only logical reaction. I love the way that your story, whilst very dark at times, is ultimately a celebration of family bonds (as, I think the last line of the last chapter proves) and Ginny and Harry's relationship will always be close as family even if they cannot be together any more, it is also a very, very realistic depiction of Romantic love without seeming overly fluffy or unrealistic.
Whilst initially I sympathised with Ginny drinking herself away from her problems, by the end she was behaving in a completely understandable way, but also one which Harry did not deserve. However her going to prison with her daughter was a show of her regret, and her desire to redeem herself.
Thank you so much for writing an excellent story! You write very well and I hope you enjoyed writing this (I'm sure you did) as much as I enjoyed reading it.
This story was my first real accomplishment in writing. Sure, it has its rough spots, and the prose itself starts off pretty diabolically, but it's the point where I figured out that I know how to tell a story and to get the reader vested in the outcome. Using that, I wanted to make people believe in the way I saw Harry, that he doesn't piss sunshine and fluffy rainbows. He's flawed, often thoughtless, and doesn't trust others as much as he should. Ultimately, who he was ended up ruining his life, and he took a couple others down with him -- Draco, Katie, and the sort of innocence that James lost while he was locked up. I fleetingly dabbled with the idea of killing Harry instead of Draco in Chapter 21, but I think that would've been unfair to the people who ended up being collateral damage in Harry's ill-conceived scheming.
Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed the intensity and the heavy themes in this very loooooooong story. You understood what I wanted to portray, and getting the intended message across is the goal of any writer, as you know. Thank you so much for your stellar reviews; they really make all the hours I put into writing this story very worth it.
Haha, now you can sleep normally. :D
Wow. That was beautiful. I loved the gentleness and resigned tone. The language and imagery you used was especially haunting and poetic.
I also really liked the playing with time. How you start with Andromeda looking back and then reference her future relationship with her daughter.
I think the way Andromeda doesn't seem to have had any control in her life and has always been judged except, crucially, by Ted Tonks was especially beautiful. I'm amazed this hasn't had more reviews to be honest but I'm sure you will get more very soon! Thank you for a beautiful story.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad the time switches worked. I tend to overdo them, so I'm glad they worked in this fic. I really wanted to capture the lack of control Andromeda has, so I'm pleased that came across. Thank you so much for your review. :)
What could possibly be a higher form of madness than falling in love with someone who does not share your feelings? Well, for starters, if that person happens to be your best friend, then that certainly qualifies.
Albus Potter has fallen prey to this quandary, and through a self-exploratory journey, he learns much about what it’s like to love and what it’s like to lose himself.
This placed second in the February Great Hall Month of Love Challenge - First Love.
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Same-Sex Pairing.
I've been meaning to read this for ages- perfect revision break- there aren't enough unrequited love stories on MNFF (which makes me sound like a sadist, but hey, they're more common in RL). I really like the first person voice you created for Albus. I like the way he writes about what he sees as the pivotal moments in his relationship with Scorpius from the age of 21. It offers distance for the earlier memories, but also means he's read far more into them than probably either he or Scorpius meant. And when it gets closer to the age he's writing this at the emotions seem more amplified. I mean obviously by this time you've been racking up the tension, which had to break at some point, so they would be amplified, but I think you did it well.
I liked the way Albus tries to explain things to himself, like when he first starts dreaming about Scorpius and attributes it to Jenny. It seemed very realistic. And your characterisation of Scorpius was really lovely. I liked how you reversed the stereotypical gay/ straight roles when Scorpius gave Albus what was essentially a makeover. He was also very brave to kiss Albus, just in case he did reciprocate but hadn't realised. That's real friendship, although of course because of the first person (and I don't think this could have come across in third person) Albus thinks, briefly, it might have the potential to go further, making the fall greater when he realises that it can't.
I also liked Harry's characterisation, and it was sweet that James had realised Albus was gay, but only told the family. Harry had the right amount of trying to be a good father, but also unintentionally fumbling things, to make him seem very realistic.
The one thing I didn't like about the story was the reference to the prom and the accreditation day. I know this is the future, and you explained about the Prom but McGonagall doesn't strike me as one to think of it, and the accreditation day just seemed too..american. Even if you just called it "Results Day" I think I would have preferred it. But they are very, very minor nitpicks to a well written story where Albus' pain really comes through. Alex x
If you haven't noticed, I have a *thing* for Albus/Scorpius dynamics. There is just something entertaining about seeing how two boys from two wildly different families could grow up and somehow latch onto one another. It's almost got that rich kid/poor kid, can they really coexist vibe.
You're very perceptive in how you read Albus's feelings. A lot of his feelings were the product of misconstrued intentions and lack of understanding of how to cope with his feelings. He wasn't the type to ask for help in that regard, either. There were also meant to be mildly obsessive undertones to their relationship, as well, all of which were on Al's side, which only exacerbated things.
Many readers of this story actually didn't like Scorpius at all, and it threw them that there was that kiss at the end. You seemed to 'get' him fairly well. No, he's not the most sensitive guy on the planet, but he's just, you know, a normal guy who happens to be a bit on the prissy side. He is also quite straight, which is why he made the mistake of kissing Al. As happens with a lot of non-gays, he doesn't realise that it isn't something he can just try out and figure out he likes it; it's a personal identity -- one he didn't have. Of course, it was only torturous to Albus, but he couldn't know that, but nonetheless, it was a moment that redeemed him in the eyes of others in that he really did care about Albus as a person and as a friend. Without that, who knows what would've happened.
I did a LOT of research on prom in the UK. Many, many UK schools have a prom. And as for McGonagall, I felt like she rather enjoyed having the Yule Ball come to Hogwarts, and as adding a Yule Ball has become rather cliche by this point, I circumvented that and just went for prom. She's a smart woman, and no doubt, if she really wanted an excuse to add a new programme to the school, she'd find one. :) And as for Accreditation Day, it does't exist anywhere. It's not American because we have graduation. It's a complete fabrication on my part, but it's basically a dress up occasion where the students are given their certificates of completion for their NEWT subjects, as one would do with a diploma. I didn't want to use an American terms, and I didn't want to use an exclusively British thing, either, so I used an exclusively wrought-from-the-imagination term. That's all. :)
Anyway, thank you for the review, and of course, welcome to SPEW!
Soraya (xxbabewithbrainsxx) told me to read this story after I'd mentioned a similar idea in a story she beta-ed for me, though since that was something my mum told me, rather than actually experienced, yours was obviously way better. (Reviewing interrupted by dinner so this review will be far less coherent than I had hoped- sorry). The part where Harry looks at his son and talks about how it feels to fall in love, when he thought Ginny would be the only person he would fall in love with- from what I've read of your writing it's much more introspective than your other stories, and I think it's beautifully worded. Harry is no longer just Harry but a father, and that makes him stand for something else but it's also the Harry we know and love from the books. I'm not explaining myself very well, but this story is about fatherhood and love, rather than Harry and what happened next, which I think is really powerful. And you can tell it's really you talking rather than Harry. It's annoying when author's do that too often, but here it slips in perfectly. Alex
Thanks for the review.
This story is, Im certain, the most personal thing Ive ever written (Sleepless Night is second). I hope that I havent stretched Harrys characterisation, but I believe that parental love is a powerful emotion when you first experience it. When the lump in the belly suddenly becomes a tiny little person the confusing emotions experienced are overwhelming.
Harry in the books is certainly not self centred, in fact he always seems to be trying to look after others and Id like to think that this would be his reaction. Warning, not all blokes feel like this (one of my workmates regards kids as an inconvenience). -N-
I've been meaning to read this for ages and am so glad I finally got round to it. The second person surprised me slightly, but it worked really well. It was very realistic, not happening too fast, but happening with just the right amount of awkwardness and discomfort. Peter is really well done, I like his characterisation of Sirius, and James. Also Remus was just the voice of reason which Peter needed, which was really sweet. Anyway, lovely story, really well written and well deserving of the award!
Like Soraya, I'd promised myself not to read chaptered fics but am so glad I read this one (a welcome distraction from Alexander the Great). I'm sorry, there's not going to be much constructive crit as I'm just going to say how much I liked this story. I really enjoyed Janey's dialect and, though she was a bit cruel, she was being brutally honest and was the catalyst Lavender and Mark both needed to realise that something needed to change. Mark is really, really likeable (if slightly pathetic) and the dialogue is very realistic. You don't use that many dialogue tags, particularly in the scene with Parvati and Lavender but you don't really need them. I think my favourite scenes were the "talking about family" for the first time (with Lavender starting in such a rush, which was both funny and sweet) and the realisation that Mark's Dad had been a werewolf. It was very well balanced and well- judged. And the bedroom scene, which was also very sweet. I think I've said before how much I like your characterisation of Lavender and the mixture of showy confidence and the vulnerability and fear of being hurt beneath it. Which also led to the funny/ sweet part where she took her top off to show Mark the scars and he just looked above them. You're good on funny/ sweet. Apologies for the rambling review, but really lovely, well-written story- alex.
I like Alexander the Great! Just watch Michael Woods series In the footsteps of
I keep wondering if I could bring back Janey (I suspect not). Mark is a bit pathetic, but he tries hard, and I hate reading about perfect people.
I actually took a lot of dialogue tags from this when I was trying to make six chapters and almost 12,000 words fit the 10,000 word limit for a one-shot. In the end I simply deleted chapter 6 and reinstated the story to this form after the challenge had been judged. I never put the dialogue tags back because I didnt think they were needed.
I see Lavender as being mostly front (in every sense) and really rather vulnerable in her private life. Shes great at giving advice, but terrible at receiving it.
Thanks for the review.
*These are the times that try men's souls.
Well, that couldn't be any more real for Draco Malfoy than on the eve of his wedding. He was getting married the next day, but all he could think about is how his life was about to become so much more damned complicated.
He had no idea.
*Quote - Thomas Paine, American revolutionary.
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best Humour
Jess THAT was amazing!!! I'm so glad I finally got a chance to read one of your stories- this was great.
So funny- in a dark, black comedy way that's rare in fanfiction. I loved how crude, rude and washed out Draco was, unable to make anything work- except fixing the wedding cake!!!
And I loved the way Astoria turned the tables on him at the end. I enjoyed this so much- thank you! Alex
Hehe, this story is definitely one of my best. It had started out as an angsty thing, but I found myself giggling at the very thought of a sober Harry interacting with a drunk Draco and knew that it had to be humour. This is definitely in my top three favourites. I'm glad you picked this one to read, because most the latter half of my author page is crap. :D
Good afternoon, and thanks for visiting!