Well, what is a Weasley good at, if not escalating an emotional situation rapidly and exponentially? This is a tense situation, and Ginny is really standing out to me here as the one who’s got issues that really need unpacking.
I was admittedly a little confused at Ron’s reaction to Hermione’s suggestion that he take his shirt off, even in front of Ginny and Harry, because a guy taking his shirt off is not something I think of as terribly exposing, and for all his insecurities I wonder that Ron would feel that way. But that having been the inciting incident, things seemed to progress in a way that has been par for the course for these four throughout the course of this fic so far.
I enjoyed Bill’s reappearance, I like that he is sort of the Weasley family liaison, if you will, to these four, and he feels like a layered character who retains that sort of understatedness I always enjoyed about him in canon.
Bill is probably under a great deal of stress from being one of the family members who has been outwardly holding everything together, but I was disappointed in his condescension towards his youngest siblings. Bill always seemed like a level-headed sort who should realize the value of open communication, at the very least within a family, and after having seen what Ginny and especially Ron have had to go through, for him to be shutting them out of truths about their own mother is very wrong of him. (Percy does have a big mouth, though, no escaping that, really.)
"He's dead," Harry replied. "He tried to kill me during the final battle and the wand he stole wouldn't work for him. The Killing Curse bounced back on him and he died."
Harry's grandparents pondered that bit of information for a few seconds. "Splendid. Couldn't happen to a nicer chap," Fleamont declared.
Oh my. I love Fleamont.
I’m very happy you wrote them into the story, it’s such a nice connection for Harry to make, even if they are just in a portrait. Their personalities seem very well crafted. I liked how you tied in Cheering Charms and likened them to a designer drug making its way around school.
In your review request you asked whether Ron’s plan seems like something he’d want to do. When I first got to the part where he makes his suggestion to leave ASAP, I found myself thinking that it did seem a little too soon, even for Ron, who isn’t always known to think things through -- both because there’s so much still going on in the wake of the battle and because Ron often has a healthy amount of skepticism and reluctance. BUT, once I saw how you played it out and got to the part where his voice sounded weary and sad, it made more sense to me. There’s a lot of awful stuff going on and I can see him just itching to get away from it, and from the immediate memories of everything that has happened over the past year. So all in all, I do see it as plausible for his character under these circumstances.
The final scene with Harry and Ginny was very touching!
Another great chapter, and I look forward to seeing what comes next, especially Ron and Hermione’s adventure.
Hi Dan! I’m here from your forum request :D
At first, I felt like the scene in Madam Malkins was a little frivolous—until I remembered that when people are dealing with terrible things, they very naturally try to distract themselves with DOING things—no matter how trivial. When I realized that the reason that they are shopping for dress robes is because they have to BURY FRED—then I about lost it. And of course, that’s why Ron is being so difficult. He doesn’t want the damn dress robes—because they mean that he’s going to have to bury his brother. I bet he’ll never wear them again after the funeral. I hope he burns them.
And Ginny, too, is burying her brother. And she’s got a limited amount of time to be with Harry in whatever way she chooses. And she’s coming off of this Death Eater year at Hogwarts—and so she probably just feels like she’s living on borrowed time as a default.
Watching her shop for lingerie was pretty funny—you described it well from the high price tags, to Ginny (and later Hermione’s) embarrassment. Ron and Hermione’s bickering was also in character—because it takes a long time for Hermione to understand why Ron is being petulant. Once she does—her reaction was so well described (and I wish I didn’t know the feeling, but I do) and she’s barely able to get them back to Grimmauld place before Ron loses it completely.
I did feel bad for Ron and Hermione when Harry goes off with Ginny—his new chosen companion—to the Black and Potter vaults. You captured everyone’s mixed feelings very well. I’m impressed they were all able to articulate those feelings as well as they did.
Dang—Harry’s super rich now. He probably should take up the goblin’s offer of scheduling a meeting to learn how to manage his estates. He could do a lot of good with all that wealth if he wants to.
The revelations of the contents of the Black and Potter vaults were interesting. I was a little concerned about the haphazard way that Harry and Ginny just took whatever they wanted out of the Black’s vault—I feel that perhaps they ought to have questioned whether or not any of it was cursed??
I was very happy when Harry came across his grandparents portraits—it gave some much needed comic relief, and I hope that he will enjoy talking to them. At least they won’t be alone in this vault anymore. I was surprised to see the Elder Wand in the vault—but perhaps you are assuming that Harry hasn’t had time to put the wand in Albus’s tomb yet?
Seeing Hagrid’s note and the items he had carefully saved from the Potter’s ruined house was so sad.
I can’t believe this is the last chapter written so far!!
The return of Romilda Vane! A character whom I did not miss in the slightest from the Harry Potter novels. :P You absolutely nailed her, though: she is still very incredibly thirsty for Harry, still has no sense of boundaries, and still has no shame hahaha. Ginny was very brave to visit her, in my opinion! I get scared of people who talk too openly about sex lives, whether it be their own, other people’s, or some combination thereof. :P Of course, when two people are close friends, that kind of conversation feels really exciting and interesting (sort of like how Ginny and Hermione were sharing secrets about their private lives with one another!) but…Romilda and Ginny are kind of leagues apart right now. I AM exceedingly thankful to her for taking care of Arnold, the adorable baby pygmy puff! Can he become a recurring character, please, I would do absolutely anything for him to make one adorable cameo per chapter. :P
You know, I have a sneaking suspicion that Romilda Vane’s dad would be a conspiracy theorist (either a flat-earther or someone who propagates that “birds aren’t real” theory), if he was more immersed in the Muggle world. His paranoia is just too strong for him to be anything else. :P
Hahaha the grace with which Ginny ducked out of having Romilda around! Can you imagine just straight up begging someone to let them to go to…the home of that someone’s boyfriend? This is the kind of thing that makes me somewhat skeptical that Romilda is really over the whole Harry thing; I feel like she would have done something creepy and perverted had she actually been allowed to visit. The way that Ginny practically wrangled a “no” out of Harry’s mouth though omg; it reminded me of how sometimes I would ask my mom whether I could go to a friend’s house simply because they’d invited me, hoping the entire time for a “no” as the answer. :P Ginny is giving off strong fourteen-year-old me vibes right now hahaha.
Harry! is becoming an Auror! It’s actually happening!!! I am excited to once again meet my dear idol, the lovely Auror Proudfoot, who has a magnificent sense of humor when it comes to Ginny and less so when it comes to Harry! It’s gonna be so epic!
HE’S GOING TO MEET BABY TEDDY SOON AHH! I have been waiting for this moment for some time, and by now my anticipation has rocketed sky-high. Harry had better be bowled over by the sheer adorableness of the child, or I will come and smack him myself, because there is no such thing as a non-adorable baby who does not deserve all the love and attention in the world. Am I qualified to take care of a child? No, but I feel perfectly alright pseudo-forcing Harry to do so. :P I’m really glad that he’s willing to provide for Andromeda and Teddy, though, because Andromeda must be in a crippling state of grief herself. We haven’t seen much of her, but she lost both a daughter and a son-in-law, and if Molly Weasley put herself into that bad a state, then where is Andromeda right now?
Kingsley and Robards negotiating Harry’s required training time tickled me positively pink, and I think I love Robards more than I ever have before now. :P
I’m so so excited for the next chapter!! This story has been an amazing journey, with such incredible characters and characterizations, and I am now very much addicted. <3
This was such a hopeful chapter!! I feel like every single character who’s been struggling with a mental barrier has broken through in some significant way. I’m really looking forward to more chapters like this. ;D
MOLLY IS DOING BETTER OMG. I’m actually really worried about the fact that they didn’t tell the Healers about Molly’s use of the Cheering Charm, though—I hope there won’t be any negative side effects from the treatments they’re giving her as a result of that. I wonder why they haven’t mentioned it to the Healers? Is it possibly because it’s more addictive, and they’re worried that Molly would be sent to a rehabilitation clinic? Whatever the reason is, I really hope she’ll continue on this upward trajectory! Seeing her speak for the first time in so many chapters made my heart sing, and if only I could hear her speaking to one of her children now! Also, can I just comment on how adorable it is that Arthur still calls her “Mollywobbles”? If I were one of their children, I would be utterly delighted that my father still called my mother by her embarrassing pet name hahaha, it’s seriously some relationship goals right there.
MOLLY AND ARTHUR ELOPED?? I need more of this secondary story ASAP haha. I have never really hardcore shipped Arthur and Molly before, but this chapter has seriously converted me. :P And while they’re discussing their children, they mention Harry, too! If only he could’ve spied on this conversation, he would’ve known exactly how much they fret and care about him like he’s their own son. I think because they love him and understand his naturally sweet, adorkable nature, that’s why Molly and Arthur aren’t so worried about the fact that their teenaged daughter is staying with Harry alone.
Ooooh Ron! Earning some money to help out his dear future wife! In a manner that makes me feel slightly conflicted, but still! See, on its own, I don’t think what he’s doing is particularly bad; though I’m not sure what Australia’s betting laws are, betting on a chess game where neither person is cheating feels rather harmless. As long as the other person knows what they’re getting into, then I think fair’s fair, and it’s a neat way of earning some extra food money. (Now, if Ron had mimicked that Isaac the Cheater’s methodology, then I would have had a bit more of a moral quandary with what he’s doing.) HOWEVER. He’s not being honest with Hermione! And I realize that Hermione likely has stricter morals than me, and most likely frowns upon betting in general, but still, I think it’s worth the wrath if he can explain that he’s not tricking anyone, and that he’s playing a fair game. (She does tend to get somewhat judgy sometimes, though.) The way I see it, Ron needs to do one of two things going forward: either he actually starts giving out chess lessons to random strangers, OR he tells Hermione the truth.
I have a feeling he’s just gonna continue with what he’s doing, though, and then face worse consequences for it later on, the dummy. :(
George actually got up to work!! YES. I can’t express how happy I was to see him up and about, with at least some sort of determination in his eyes. I hope the more time he spends around the shop, he’ll be able to associate it with fond memories of his twin, rather than regretting all the future years they missed out on. Someone else who I think made some sort of breakthrough was Ginny! When Harry looked at her with all his love and warmth after the Dementors drew out her most traumatic memories—"It lasted only a fraction of a second, but for the first time in months, Ginny felt whole”—I wanted to sob. It’s like my room was lit up by this wonderful warm glow, my heart was so full! Even though the memories will still definitely trouble her, I hope that this was a confirmation of sorts that Harry would love her and understand that nothing was her doing, that it was all the nasty Death Eater teenagers’.
Dawlish (though I much prefer Ginny’s hilarious nickname for him :P) can see himself out of this story hmph. Proudfoot is a much preferable Auror to that useless chunk of human.
Harry understood that the Dementor attack wasn’t his fault. And when I read that, my shoulders just completely relaxed, because it feels SO GOOD to hear him admit that! YES. I am so eager for Auror!Harry. <3
Such a heartwarming chapter! <3
HAHAHA Harry being traumatized over Luna and Neville having sex in the bathroom is the funniest thing. The guy has lived through a whole war, and THIS is the kind of thing that sends him quivering back to Ginny in his bedroom? :P Sometimes, the psyche of teenagers is beyond me haha! I wonder if Ginny is now interested in trying out that thong underwear that they were briefly discussing earlier. :P I love how Harry, so far throughout this story, has really spent money on two main things: (1) slightly inappropriate clothing for Ginny, and (2) money for Ron and Hermione to take to Australia. The second one is a very noble, selfless endeavor, while the first is just positively hilarious haha. It’s kind of great that they’re able to be really open about discussing sex with one another, though; I feel like people who get embarrassed about that kind of thing will have more difficulty establishing boundaries when it actually comes to doing the thing.
FLEUR IS SO GREAT. Of all the people, I never expected her to be the one to snap George out of his funk—which is the beauty of it all. I was imagining her French accent coming through more strongly as she got more heated, which likely made her brutally honest words slap George across the face a little more. :P That entire scene was so powerfully written. Her sympathy for him seems to have dipped into a valley, which makes sense if someone refuses to pick themselves back up after something bad happens. I do think that she was rather on the harsh side (if I ever spoke to someone grieving like that only six days after their loved one died, I would probably have run away wailing out of guilt immediately afterwards :P), but that harshness is exactly what George needed, I think. He needed an emotion other than his typical foggy grief to pull him out of the stupor, and perhaps Fleur guilt-tripping him with the idea that Fred would be disappointed in George to see him living this way was the right move.
I wanted to cry at that cemetery scene. It really tugged at the heartstrings, seeing someone who’s been so quietly miserable finally release all their emotions in the most gutwrenching way. It actually made me briefly think about how I would feel if one of my siblings died, which really increased the pain that the scene gave me. <3 I really love the depiction of Fleur you have here; she’s not just a gentle, sweet French woman, but she has a great deal of power behind every word she speaks. And I hope that we can see more of her outside of her helping George to his feet! Oftentimes, Fleur’s kind of discarded in stories, I think partially because of Ginny’s ridiculous disdain for her, so I’m excited to see her finally present here. <3
GO GEORGE. YOU CAN DO IT. TALK TO GINNY AND HARRY AND LET YOURSELF BE HAPPY!
I’m going to be very honest here, I embarrassingly am the actual worst at chess. I know the functions of every piece, and that’s about it. Yet, despite this, I found Ron’s scene in the park to be the most epic takedown of that Isaac fellow—the personal affront he felt to the man cheating at chess was just such a Ron thing. I’m actually really proud that he earned the money fair-and-square, though I understand why he might not want to tell Hermione about it. :P Better not to keep secrets from your future spouse, though! I am slightly curious about what he’s planning on doing with that chess set? Hopefully not bamboozle other people into paying up…
Something that I wondered about Isaac is how he managed to divert everyone’s attention from the board enough to move the black bishop, but then I remembered magicians exist, and pretty much do that for a living. :P
Ugh Ron is so great, I love him! <3
Hahaha that image of Ron trying to figure out how the luggage claim worked was SO adorable, I just wanted to give him a huge hug. It’s funny because it’s a very Muggle thing to question, as well (though perhaps more often it’ll be children who ask how it works :P), so it’s not the most unusual thing to hear as a non-magical person. I’m sure that I myself have questioned the mechanics behind the luggage claim within recent years as well hahaha. I love how fond Hermione is of him! I kind of hope that they’ll spend more time in the Muggle world once she finds her parents, as a way of taking a break from all the politics of the magical world, so that she can show Ron to more cool and beautiful places! Perhaps he’ll even become so familiar with Muggle machines and workings that he’ll want his own. :P
How do all your characters continue to be the most relatable!! Hermione’s testiness and annoyance at everything is so understandable; if I haven’t gotten enough sleep I’m already cranky as can be, and layered on top of Hermione’s VERY stressful goal of finding her parents, she must be going through a spot of hell right now. It was the sweetest thing when she admitted as much, though! Straight up telling Ron that she’s grouchy and finds everything he’s doing annoying despite his aptitude for Muggle-pretending is a lot better than just passive-aggressively insulting him until he feels beyond hurt and upset. Also, I keep forgetting that they’re just seventeen—it’s that strange time when I want to call them children and adults at the same time, but teenagers still have the craziest emotions. I am not even a teenager anymore, but I can barely make it through a day without getting needlessly frustrated and upset about something, while Hermione and Ron are still at the age when hormones and such are messing with their bodies! <3
Oh no, it looks like Mr. Weasley didn’t take into account that they could track wands. The jinx seems awfully risky, though?? If the wands are buzzing in someone’s pockets, wouldn’t Muggles be able to hear that and then be concerned about their safety? Eep I was so stressed that entire time Ron and Hermione were running away! Cannot handle our precious couple being fugitives under the Australian law! I really wish that Australian Magical Law Enforcement was not clever enough to check the Muggle airway routes for wizards hahaha. Under the circumstances, I thought that Ron and Hermione acted brilliantly; I hope that there’s no way for the government to track the wands of the two people that they Stunned, though.
I love the parts about magical theory. To be able to sense the webs of magic surrounding you is incredible stuff, and I loved the detail with which you wrote that! This sentence described it perfectly, in the most ethereal, beautiful way: “A little like walking through a warm summer rainstorm and a little like navigating a room filled with sheer curtains hanging from the ceiling.” That sentence surrounded me with warmth and made me want to bathe in the beauty of it all, it was written so wonderfully. Bill’s instructions were so clever and thoughtful, and I feel like he would make an excellent teacher if he wanted to! What he said about the counter-Fidelius spell being beyond NEWT level astonished me a bit, because where exactly do wizards learn these things if they don’t have university? Do they learn on the job? That actually might be even better, because then they likely have a personal mentor or someone to guide them, right? Speaking of which, I am SO excited to meet Proudfoot again! :D
Everyone is so worried about Ginny. And I just really really want her to speak to someone, to be okay. Therapy, even! Please be well, Ginny darling. <3
You know, I have faith in Ron and Hermione. They’ve disguised themselves enough that I think they won’t be traced—unless the Australian government somehow has a way of telling if unauthorized visitors use magic within their borders. What are magical privacy laws like, I wonder? :P
This was such a good chapter, as always!
These two couples do have a long way to go, don’t they? What I love about your depiction of them, though, is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not right for one another. Every single relationship takes a great deal of work, and it’s not often a “meet-cute, happily ever after” type situation unless you’re very very very lucky, I suppose, and the fact that you demonstrate this feels really meaningful to me. Sometimes I do want to read a story that ends with a relationship well-fought and well-earned, you know? One like Harry and Ginny’s difficulty in really breathing out and trusting one another with their whole selves and past, rather than one with only minor bumps and hiccups. :P
Okay, I absolutely need to find a Ginny and befriend her now, because her opinions of Dumbledore, I completely agree with. :P I still have the theory that Harry’s admiration for Dumbledore is bordering on somewhat obsessive and desperate, because Dumbledore was the one true guiding factor he had throughout his years at Hogwarts, and he needs to hold onto those good feelings towards Dumbledore or his entire foundation of thought is going to crumble. He needs to be able to take criticisms towards Dumbledore, because that man did seriously mess up! Ginny’s (and my) feelings towards Dumbledore are very harsh (and perhaps not very charitable, which I admit :P), but honestly, SOMEONE in this Harry Potter universe needs to viscerally hate the man, otherwise his ego may grow too big from the afterlife. As soon as Harry started reading Dumbledore’s preface, I sniffed and thought, “So pretentious,” WHICH GINNY THEN ECHOED. I believe she is my soulmate. Dumbledore’s preface reminded me of those pretentious male literary authors that schools made us read sometimes, you know? :P
Oh, no! I knew that Ginny’s view in the Mirror of Erised was going to be Harry, but the way that you described her fascination, her feelings of warmth, those addictive bursts of dopamine running through her system…it was so convincing that she would want to stay there forever. Something that I think the original books were lacking was the descriptions of desire from Harry, but this fic actually made me genuinely envious of Ginny for a second, even though in the back of my mind I knew that the Mirror of Erised was a dangerous place. The way you described it actually reminded me a little bit of those frightening sci-fi stories when people hook themselves up to virtual reality for the rest of their lives while their physical bodies rot away, just because it’s happier in the fake world. That’s kind of how it felt for me, and Ginny waking up from this dream so brutally actually made me feel really sad.
Hahaha Luna is my absolute favorite. I love how she has no boundaries, and despite the complete and utter embarrassment radiating off Ginny, she continues talking about what she saw. :P I would actually love more scenes between Ginny and Luna, hahaha. I feel like if there would be anyone else that Ginny could possibly love other than Harry, it would be Luna. Like, Luna is so perceptive but in the vaguest way; I have a feeling that she knows about what happened to Ginny, though, and why things are so rough for her right now. I really really hope that Ginny can trust both herself and Harry enough soon to let him know.
Ron and Hermione still have temper difficulties, I see. :P Though I do say it was rather immoral to Confound a Muggle without their knowledge/consent, I personally get very annoyed when there are first-class seats that are empty but airlines refuse to bump people up haha. At the very least, do some sort of raffle with all the single/double economy passengers! Hermione is the kind of person who doesn’t let things go easily, I’ve noticed, which I think can be a boon but oftentimes makes her rather unwilling to forgive people, even for things that are relatively harmless in the long run. I wish that she could’ve accepted Ron’s apology and moved on, because I think he did feel somewhat bad about it already. Sometimes, judging people isn’t the best way to get them to alter their behavior, though, so she might need to work on that.
I REALLY HOPE SHE FINDS HER PARENTS AND CAN CONVINCE THEM. The irreversibility of these Memory Charms is making me extremely sad, like no matter what, they’re never going to remember any memories with her. They might even think the photos have been photoshopped, I don’t know. I’m prepared for some serious heartbreak though.
An entire chapter dedicated to Harry and Ginny! I feel positively blessed! <3
From what I’ve gathered in the past twenty chapters, it is physically impossible for Harry to pass three hours without something adrenaline-pumpingly exciting happening to him hahaha. As always, I was lulled to a sense of safety with that date; it is such a normal teenager thing to do, you know? And the fact that they were snickering over the actress’s half-nudity is so immature and funny, which makes sense! They have every right to be immature teenagers! (I am so curious about whether their topic of discussion was based on a real movie hahaha.)
I kind of want Harry to visit the Dursleys again, even though I know he has no desire to… I can’t explain it, but I desperately need the closure for that strange look that Aunt Petunia gave Harry right before the Dursleys had to depart. Even Harry thought about that earlier in this story, I believe, and at this point, everything that happened in this story is Canon-with-a-Capital-C to me, so if there is an Aunt Petunia scene where she says something about that, I could cry. But I do hate how flippantly Harry talks about these genuinely horrible and abusive things that the Dursleys did to him—how insane is it that they would punish him for scoring better than Dursley?? That’s just absolutely crazy, and if I had grown up with those people I’m sure I would want nothing to do with them as well. HOWEVER, in a move that is very on-brand for this story, you’ve made Ginny’s point of view perfectly understandable as well—just like her, I’m furious about their treatment and in a way want Harry to be all smug about how happy he is in life now. I highly doubt that they wouldn’t care at all, like Harry claimed—I can easily envision Uncle Vernon turning an ugly purple and swatting Harry out of the house in envy. :P
THAT CHASE HAD MY HEART REALLY PUMPING OMG. All the while, I was frantically considering who would do something like this—if it was a Muggle, why would they want his wand at all? If it was a wizard, why not a more magical method of stealing? But not once did it occur to me that it would be a vampire!! How clever! I gotta admit, as soon as it was revealed that the thieves were vampires, I felt myself relax a little bit—as tense as Ginny was, I felt like vampires were rather on the harmless side.
I particularly loved the bit of mini-worldbuilding about the vampire club! (At least, I assume that this is the purpose of this hidden location.) It makes so much sense that the vampires have their own culture and forms of celebration/partying, and I’m shocked—yet again in this fic :P—that I never thought about that before! That woman that Ginny saw screwing horns into someone else’s head…though it seemed like a frightening scene at first, I feel like it could just be a cosmetic feature. Sort of like putting earrings on someone’s ears, or gluing on fake lashes haha. I would actually love to see more of the vampire world; unlike werewolves, J.K. Rowling made no attempt to humanize them in the novels, and I think they certainly deserve it (at least in your fic!).
Oláh is my new favorite character. :P Partially because it’s apparent he respected Remus to a great degree, and almost implied that he actually treasured Remus as a person, and partially because he is just so freaking cool. Like, can I be friends with him?? He seems like such a fair leader, not resorting to violence at every possible moment, just wanting to protect his people. It actually broke my heart a little bit when he alluded to the fact that wizardkind would immediately turn on vampires once the Dark Lord saga settled, because it’s true.
WELCOME, NEVILLE AND LUNA. I’m glad that they’re here to fill the gap a little bit left by Hermione and Ron! I love Luna with all my heart!
Oh, Ginny. Aw. I’m so conflicted about Harry finding out, because what if he starts treating her very delicately now? But his hug for her was unbelievably sweet. Aw, I just want Ginny to tell him herself at some point. It seems a little strange that he knows without her knowledge at this point…but I know why he did it. Ugh this is the most painful part of this story! *sob* <3
Oh my dear goodness, Harry, silencing your girlfriend is definitely NOT the way to go, even if she’s rambling on and on, because she’s doing it out of worry! I swear, if anyone I was dating ever did that to me, I would then clamp their mouth shut with a stapler; Ginny showed remarkable self-restraint in not immediately sending a Bat-Bogey Hex Harry’s way after that silencing spell. :P In any case, I am glad that Harry eventually managed to get a word and explain his situation before she could go too crazy with her own theories. And I love his suggestion that Ginny help George—I wonder if helping someone else would then also benefit her, because it would take her mind off the horrible incident that happened at Hogwarts, and maybe she could even eventually, at some point, open up to George about it? It would be two grief-stricken, struggling people helping one another.
Ginny is so smart—it never occurred to me that George would want to work after everything he’s been through! But she is his sister, after all, and knows him better than anyone else. Describing George (and Harry) as “doers” is somehow the most perfect thing; I completely forgot about the incident when George delighted in sneaking everyone out with his Instant Peruvian Darkness Powder (or whatever it’s called), but that makes SO much sense. It makes me excited because there’s now a hint of a path forward! I’m so so curious to see how Ginny would help George; I think she would be phenomenal for it, she has the exact kind of aggressively forward personality that could perhaps nudge someone into the right direction. :P
She and Harry are DESTINED for one another! Even though she spent the past hour worrying her butt off about Harry, she still knows him well enough to understand that being an Auror is extremely important to him, and she’s not letting her own feelings cloud her judgment about their future. I absolutely treasure this kind of care and selflessness in this relationship—and I expect he’s going to repay her tenfold somehow by being her #1 Biggest Fan when she lands that Holyhead Harpies position after everything is over. ;D THEY LOVE EACH OTHER SO MUCH. I could cry omg, this is the kind of relationship where communication is at a high priority, and it’s such a good model for all relationships. (Aside from the occasional slapping of course, but Ginny’s dealing with a lot more heavier things than the majority of us do. <3)
That entire scene with Ron and Hermione in the plane made me think about how much tall people struggle with legroom in ‘aeroplanes’ hahaha. :P Though, I’ve been wondering—I think there’s been a recurring joke that Hermione and Harry have been influenced by Ron’s use of the word ‘aeroplane’ and therefore they keep saying it that way, but isn’t ‘aeroplane’ the standard British way of spelling it? (I’m not at all an expert on British slang, but that’s just what I’ve heard in the past.) Some of Ron’s conclusions in the plane seat were mildly alarming, though, especially when he decided that to keep Hermione, he needed to not be himself. THAT’S NOT THE WAY TO GO, RON. Hermione’s dating him for him, and though there are obviously things that everyone can improve about themselves (e.g. temper, communicative skills, tendencies to burp/fart, etc.), he needs to not pretend to be someone entirely different!
Oh, the dears Neville and Luna. My heart goes out to them, having their parents in such difficult conditions. I really wish that Neville’s grandmother could be way less harsh towards him, like what exactly is wrong with Luna?? She’s a far better person than Augusta could ever dream of being.
I’m actually really happy that they’ll be spending the night with the Weasleys, who are a far more welcoming and openminded family than Madam Longbottom, clearly, hmph.
For some reason, people respecting and cherishing their mothers in stories always makes me want to tear up, so Ron’s little speech really touched me. He loves his mom so much, and wants to let her know about these new and exciting events occurring in his life, even though she might not even be able to hear him. AND within his little ramble he mentioned Hermione, and how lucky he is!! Ron really respects the women in his life, and though that is truly a low bar, I can’t help but just love him all the more for that. <3
Harry’s iconic sarcasm strikes again! “Us? Risking our lives? Perish the thought.”—this is the kind of line that had laughter bubbling in me chest-deep, I love it. Harry is just so completely done with bureaucracy and law enforcement, both of which have messed with his life for approximately ten years, and I’m living for his current IDGAF attitude hahaha. Harry has always been on the no-nonsense side, but he’s also been a relatively awkward pushover at times, so this new and improved Harry is truly a sight for sore eyes! I approve! As much as I love Proudfoot, I appreciate that Harry is pushing back on this so that Hermione and Ron can go on their well-deserved trip, because that is what good friends do.
The battle scene was so interesting and action-packed?? I was shocked when you mentioned in your author’s notes that you found this chapter to be relatively uninteresting to write, because I have never been more captivated than when I was reading the action sequence. Sometimes, it’s a great deal of fun to watch/read superhero-esque battle scenes, with bright (and potentially fatal) lights streaking through the air, while the Golden Trio kicks a ton of butt. Thank goodness for Harry and his self-protective instincts, though, right?? Imagine what would’ve happened if the fake Kingsley actually succeeded in taking them away. I wonder what it was about fake!Kingsley that set him off? Was it the fact that fake!Kingsley was actually seeking them out, rather than waiting in his office? Either way, the completely subtle way with which Harry determined that fake!Kingsley was fake was EPIC, and I am all for Harry having these wonderful and impressive bouts of cleverness. Inheriting some brains from Hermione, I see. :P
Oh, that goodbye! I understand why the title is named that way! Despite the fact that I’ve been gunning for Ron and Hermione’s departure for like five chapters now, this moment made me inexplicably sad. I really hope that their friendship doesn’t fall apart due to their physical separation—Harry needs his friends more than ever at this point in time. What if they use some super secret method to communicate with one another, like the little enchanted Galleons that Hermione used for Dumbledore’s Army?? Or they could just send letters, as well, I suppose, hahaha. :P It was a very beautifully written bittersweet moment, which I think perfectly captured how close the three of them were.
NO THAT’S THE WORST THING KINGSLEY COULD HAVE SAID, IMPLYING THAT HARRY’S TAKING OTHERS’ SACRIFICES FOR GRANTED. I feel like hearing that one sentence from Kingsley undid all the hard work that both Ginny and Hermione did in convincing Harry, step by step, that he shouldn’t feel guilty! Even though Kingsley apologized, I don’t think Harry’s ever gonna unhear that, which is so stressful—please let him continue to improve (I say to some mystical wielder of the ‘After Destiny’ Harry Potter universe. :P)!!
I live for Proudfoot and Harry’s dynamic omg. I love this completely grudging attitude she has towards him, which makes me feel like she’s definitely not going to treat him like anyone special simply because he saved the Wizarding War from Voldemort. It makes me completely and irrationally happy hahaha—I hope that eventually this is someone that Harry can really grow close to. At the moment, Harry feels a little bit like an annoying younger brother or nephew right now; he’s pushing her buttons for the heck of it, and is greatly enjoying doing so hahaha. I think he needs someone who doesn’t treat him like a hero, so that he can slowly regain some semblance of normalcy while he’s training to become an Auror! I also feel like this kind of mentor-apprentice relationship is often reserved for an older man and a younger man, so I love that Proudfoot is a woman who gets to harrumph her way around teaching Harry. :P
HOW ARE THERE SPIES IN THE MINISTRY ALREADY DO BAD THINGS NEVER END.
(I loved this chapter! <3)
GEORGE IS SPEAKING. Even though he sounds really bad right now, I’m really really glad that he at least feels well enough to muster up words. He even managed to joke about whether Bill left enough time for himself to pee, albeit somewhat weakly. I never know what to do when people are going through periods of grieving, so every single time George appears I feel a huge sense of inadequacy, which is awful, I know. But what I love about Bill is that he’s an extraordinarily caring brother who doesn’t seem to really fear talking with his siblings—so when George comes down and speaks for the first time in ages, Bill leaps at the opportunity, and even cracks a joke or two!
The characters in this story are so extremely hard on themselves. George blaming himself for being a liability to the family is the most saddening of all—grief has a way of twisting up these characters’ minds and making them feel incredibly undeserving of any love and care in the world. But I wish there was a way for different loved ones to just immediately project all their love and thoughts into the mind of George, so that he can understand that people are more than willing to take care of them! That the only thing that matters to them is not the time spent on George, but the idea that he may one day become better! The way you write George’s grief is heartbreaking, the way that he’s almost lost the will to live after his twin has gone, and it actually really reminds me of something that a twin said to me once, that if their twin had died like Fred, he would’ve probably used the Killing Curse on himself because there was no life without his twin. There is such a special bond between twins that of course George is taking far longer than everyone else to heal, and I wish he would be able to understand that no one blames him for his grief. <3
I was so tickled though when Ginny emitted those three very strange grunting noises. :P After the despondency in the previous scene, I really needed those spelled out grunts to lighten the mood a little bit hahaha. I’m actually loving this new camaraderie between Harry and his portrait grandparents, I absolutely need more interactions between them! What if they have embarrassing stories about his father! Also omg look at the complete delight in Harry’s eyes after he discovered his Parseltongue abilities had disappeared!!! Oh my word, I have never felt more joyous—throughout this entire novel, it feels like Harry’s been depressed and traumatized almost to no return, and this is like the first time he’s been this enthused about something! Three cheers for no longer having Voldemort’s nasty soul chunk wedged inside Harry’s body! I would pop open a drink to celebrate with him if I was of age. :P Hahaha did they just leave Fleamont and Euphemia hanging in that room? Harry said, “Excuse us a moment?” and then promptly disappeared with Ginny for who knows how long? :P God I love this child so so much, I would protect him with my life.
Okay, as much as I love Ginny, she needs to stop slapping people. (But omg I never made the connection between her angrier, more violent tendencies nowadays to the fact that she was horribly assaulted, which makes me feel awful. Ugh thinking about what Ginny went through makes me want to cry. Please let her get help, please.) I do really agree with everything that Ginny said though! Even though it was loudly and angrily shouted, she made very excellent and logical points (especially about that lousy man Dumbledore :P), and I’m really hoping that after having these points of logic shoved in his face, Harry’s paranoid mind can’t refuse the facts anymore. HOWEVER I have thought this numerous times throughout this story so I’m bracing myself for the return of a self-deprecating, guilty Harry. <3
Hahaha! An academically furious Hermione is the BEST Hermione. It is such a Hermione thing to be so affronted by the fact that her two best friends didn’t have to take a written exam! Someone as bureaucratically well-versed as Hermione surely would demand the paperwork for everything, even if it was unnecessary, but for the guys’ sakes I’m really glad that Wylkie Twycross had some common sense regarding their Apparition licenses hahaha. At first, I thought Auror Proudfoot was implying that Harry and Ron’s newfound fame would have aided their quick passage through the test, but this is so much better omg. Especially Twycross’s slightly passive aggressive remark about Hermione needlessly acing the written test hahaha. This part was my favorite, I was smiling throughout the entire thing.
I’m really glad that Mr. Weasley recognizes that Ron and Hermione are adults now, that they can make their own choices. The worst kinds of parents are the ones that cling onto their children well into adulthood, but I knew that Mr. Weasley wouldn’t be like that.
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE YOU VASTLY ANNOYING MAN, WHY ARE YOU LEAVING WILLS EVEN AFTER YOU’RE DEAD. DO YOU REALIZE THE TRAUMA YOU’VE PUT HARRY THROUGH? *shakes fist* Honestly, I kind of hope that Harry just tosses the key into the Black Lake and ignores it for the rest of eternity. Though, knowing him, he definitely won’t. <3
Nooo are Ron and Hermione’s trip going to have to be postponed?? That’s the absolute worst, I was so looking forward for the two of them to have a tiny bit of freedom in their hectic lives!! Please let them go, Universe! D:
Oh wow, I’ve never actually read a fic before that hinted at the fact that Harry did know Dumbledore was gay, and was in a relationship with Grindelwald! I think because J.K. Rowling never explicitly stated that in the novels (a shame, sigh), I just sort of assumed that there was no one in the story who knew—but I’m actually really fond of the idea that Dumbledore told Harry enough about himself that Harry understands the extent of his fascination/attraction to Grindelwald. In a way, that makes Dumbledore’s sexuality feel far more real, rather than some half-assed thing thrown into canon only after all the books were released, like the way J.K. Rowling try to sell it. :P It’s interesting though that Dumbledore hasn’t discussed his relationship with Grindelwald with anyone else—if Kingsley doesn’t know, then I suspect that no one else knows aside from Harry (and perhaps Doge). I wonder if it’s because Dumbledore felt ashamed about his time with Grindelwald?
I’m actually so glad that Harry is setting boundaries for himself!! First with Kingsley, when he’s not automatically jumping to volunteer himself, and now with Doge, when he didn’t leap to accept the invitation. I feel like this child has done too much specifically for other people, to the point where it’s the basis for his PTSD, that he failed his friends which is how they died. It’s extremely pleasing that he’s now taking these really tiny steps to ensure that he has control over his own life! Maybe it also makes Harry seem more imposing and confident to other people—perhaps that’s what he was referring to when he said that keeping his automatic agreements inside had positive effects on his conversations with others?
In any case, I’m extremely proud of how he accomplished the discussion with Elphias Doge! What I particularly love is that it didn’t feel like Harry had any ulterior motives or anything of the sort—of course his end goal was to get Elphias to join the Ministry again, but Elphias already knew that. No, Harry just chatted with Elphias like they were old friends! This just goes to show how Harry possesses a natural charm, a natural affinity towards socializing with people, where they just automatically trust him and want to open up to him. Like, I doubt that Harry scripted a single part of this conversation. He simply just let the conversation go where it needed to go, making sure that his own temper remained calm even when Elphias’s temper rose, which is SO awesome. More scenes with Harry being a kickass political discussion-person, please! :P
What I particularly loved was how Harry managed to make Elphias so impassioned and incensed that Elphias just sorta started spewing ideas to improve the Ministry on his own hahaha. That was so cool. Like, I think that the conversation reminded Elphias how much he actually cared about the wizarding world, which is somehow the most genuine way that Harry could have approached this conversation?? How could anyone not love this darling Boy-Who-Lived, especially the beautifully in-character way with which you write him?
Something that Elphias said that minorly bothered me was when he preferred the more violent, threatening technique of getting Death Eaters to talk. I am in general not a fan of governments having any involvement in torturing people, so I’m leaning towards Albus Dumbledore’s method in this instance. :P But seeing as I have no say in government, I suppose we’ll see which method Kingsley and Doge end up selecting!
Ron and Hermione omg. <3 It’s been soo long since I’ve read a story that didn’t treat Ron like a bit of a butthead—of course he is a butthead to a certain degree, but so is just about everyone around that age haha. You write him so well, and when he makes mistakes he’s genuinely repentant about it…and he loves Hermione. That’s the most important part, that people always seem to forget about! So that bathtub scene made me extraordinarily happy, mostly because it’s kind of sweet seeing these two become closer by the day haha.
I am so ready for them to get married. :P Their Australia trip sounds so close!! <3
It is unspeakably painful to see Molly Weasley in this state. Everyone kept referring to the fact that Molly Weasley is a strong human being—she raised seven healthy children and fought in the war—which somehow makes this current situation feel worse. It almost feels like everyone is hoping that her previous liveliness and energy will help her make it through this dark phase of her life, which I am also hoping, but somehow it feels like an unfair expectation to place on her shoulders. Even the strongest people fall due to mental or physical ailments, as awful as it is. I really hope the Healers at St. Mungo’s know what they’re doing; addiction did not seem to be in the vocabulary of the original Harry Potter books, so it makes me worried whether they’re going to be able to help Molly to the fullest. Something makes me extremely nervous about them giving her more doses of potions after she’s already been confused and stricken and addicted to the potions and Cheering Up Charms she’d been administering to herself. But then again, I don’t know anything about treatment for addiction.
I wonder if she thought she was speaking to Ron as an incoming third-year? She kept asking him to take care of Ginny, to not let anything bad happen again, which could be referring to when Ginny was captured by the diary of Tom Riddle. I really hope that her memory problems aren’t a permanent fixture, but even if they are, she has such a wonderful family and support system that I’m sure everyone will push their own concerns to the side and help her in the best way they can. <3
Harry’s wand is giving me the serious heeby-jeebies! I never suspected that things touched by the Elder Wand could then also possess Elder Wand-esque qualities. The last thing that Harry needs right now is an alarmingly tempting offer of power, which his current wand seems to be heading towards. I kind of wish he took Ollivander up on his offer to forge a new wand for him, haha, because as much as I too love that phoenix-haired wand of his, IT’S KINDA SCARY NOW. Though, like numerous people have pointed out throughout this story, Harry does seem to have a way of getting himself into trouble…and then somehow wrangling himself out of that trouble, so perhaps I should have more faith in him. :P
Hahaha that underwear-shopping interlude was my favorite part of this chapter! I always find such great happiness in the little romantic scenes when the teenagers can just be teenagers, when the world isn’t harping on them to go off and do great and heroic things. Like, of course Harry is curious about Ginny wearing various skimpy underwear! Of course she wants to try them on! They’re two people in their prime who find one another very attractive, after all. :P I actually laughed out loud when Harry and Ron voiced their very opposing opinions on boxers vs. briefs—and when Ginny and Hermione had the exact opposite opinions as their respective boyfriends hahaha. I don’t claim to know a great deal about male underwear, but Ron’s scandalized reaction when faced with a pair of boxers made me laugh so much. I feel like I’ve heard Ron’s opinion echoed by some people I know. :P
I am extremely upset with Kingsley for ruining the happiness of the afternoon! Though I understand the importance of this whole Elphias Doge thing, could he give Harry a break longer than a week please after the war is over!! (I understand he’s been doing his best already, and I do love Kingsley…but Harry still needs his well-deserved break, the poor thing.) I wonder if this is part of Kingsley’s way of seeing if Harry is willing to join the Aurors in Magical Law Enforcement?
Really curious to see how the Elphias Doge thing goes down! I am bracing myself for something bad happening. :P
Oh my god oh my god, even though I knew what that opening scene was going to be, I still felt completely shaken at how harrowing and bleak it was. It’s the worst nightmare of so many people, but I think you wrote it in a fairly respectful way—I really appreciate that not every detail was explicitly written out. Some things are best left unsaid, after all, and I often think it does more harm than good to be extremely graphic about sexual assault, so I’m really glad that you wrote the most horrifying part so vaguely. <3 This is what Ginny was referencing many chapters ago, isn’t it? I hate that she had to experience this, so so much—sometimes, teenagers in power (anyone in power, really) can be completely nasty people. Especially in times of war, there are so many examples of soldiers raping women just because they can without consequences, and that seems to be exactly what happened with the Slytherins.
Pansy’s line had my blood boiling.
Oh, it really hurts seeing Ginny wake up like that, in a panic because she doesn’t want anyone to see her this way. I thankfully have no idea what being assaulted feels like, but I liked that you had a focus on the psychological effects of the rape, how a gripping paranoia can often seize the victims, and how it just completely messes with their confidence and sense of self. Oh, poor Ginny! To think that I’ve been calling her the most confident character, while completely forgetting the time she almost slipped up about the Slytherins… I can’t imagine how horrible the dreams must have been when she was by herself (though perhaps she would’ve preferred it to Harry seeing her). I just wish I could somehow communicate to her that nothing is her fault, that their actions say nothing about her current body, that she is still very much her own self.
I’m glad that eventually something positive emerged after Ginny woke up so badly from the dream, though I do think that she’s being too hard on herself for wanting to have sex with Harry under those circumstances. It’s clear that she didn’t “pretend” to want to have sex with Harry, she genuinely wanted it, and as a result I think she should stop blaming herself for using it as a weapon to distract him, even if she did want that to happen. I do hope that she tells him eventually because keeping these things inside can only let negative thoughts fester, and I think, to a certain extent, Harry should know so that he can help her in the best way he can. But of course it’s all up to her. <3
Oh, this opening was so much worse (emotionally) than I expected.
You make a really good case with that Kingsley scene about why Harry is meant to be an Auror! There’s that debate amongst the fandom about whether or not Harry would’ve rather been a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor or an Auror, and though I’m usually relatively neutral on the matter, this story had me completely sold on Auror!Harry. Strangely enough, the line that sold me the most was the one by Snape: “Keep Potter out of harm's way? One might as well try to keep the sun from rising.” It’s kind of hilarious, in a very Snape-y way. :P AND SO TRUE. I don’t think Harry could stay out of action even if he was tied to a chair; somehow he always manages to draw it out.
Hahaha I love that these two are becoming so close that they’re more comfortable discussing their sex lives now! Hooray for Hermione becoming slightly more openminded and less judgmental about these two!! Hooray for Ginny enjoying her sex life with Harry, and feeling comfy enough to even tease Hermione about doing things with Ron, her BROTHER. Discussing personal lives to this extent is something that is completely foreign to me, but I’m really pleased that this is something that both girls really enjoy. Girl friendships are so underrated in stories!! So glad that Ginny and Hermione are this close. <3
ALL THESE EMOTIONS ARE MAKING ME VERY UPSET. I know people are saying things they don’t mean to one another, which is partially what makes all of this so saddening! The worst part is I can’t even be mad at them because you write their emotions too well, and the characters never come across as unreasonably angry—like, though I wish these kinds of conflicts could be avoided, they just buried their brother and found out their mother needed help. So obviously they have every reason to have frayed tempers and raised voices, but wow, I feel like a child who caught their (numerous, complicated set of) parents yelling at one another hahaha. It hurts so very bad.
I feel like Ginny is right, though! What’s so wrong about her asking about the mental condition of Mrs. Weasley?? The way Bill responded to her, you might’ve thought that she was a stranger or some mere acquaintance asking about whether or not Molly Weasley was now reliant on the Cheering Up Charm and the potions, but GINNY CARES. She’s not asking to be malicious or anything! Even though I understand that Bill, as the oldest Weasley child, feels a responsibility towards both protecting his mother and his younger siblings (and therefore must be feeling incredibly hopeless and useless right now), I don’t like his responses!!! He seems to be denying the very serious potential problem that could be facing his mother, which I think is a coping mechanism that definitely won’t work in the long-term. No wonder why Ginny was furious with him.
But I keep talking about them like they aren’t grief-stricken and emotionally unsound at the moment. I just want things to get better for all these precious humans. <3
After that incredibly tense beginning of the chapter, I thought it was really smart of Harry to find reprieve amongst his grandparents’ paintings. Hahaha I loved when Fleamont referenced the fact that Harry’s story could fill a couple books. :P That makes me wonder if Harry is actually going to sit down and tell the whole seven books’ worth of his tale to them at some point! Which I would actually love to see—and I think Fleamont and Euphemia would appreciate it a great deal too. It would certainly fill them in on the goings-on of the last sixteen years! My heart sank when the addictiveness of the Cheering Charm was revealed though; it seems to act as any dopamine-inducing drug would in the real world, except perhaps the Cheering Charm was even more addictive and debilitating, based on the state of Mrs. Weasley. :(
PLEASE, HARRY, GO PLAY WITH TEDDY. I have been on the edge of my seat, waiting for when Harry finally meets the adorable, pudgy, blue-haired baby! Euphemia gives excellent advice, Harry, please listen to her! Rather, she leads Harry to drawing his own excellent conclusions. :P (Something that I have discovered about Fleamont and Euphemia throughout this interlude is that Fleamont is mildly full of himself, enjoys puffing out his chest and talking about his past contributions, and is very, very funny hahahaha. While Euphemia, the darling, is a fantastic listener. Can I have a grandparent like Euphemia, please? Fleamont could come along, as well. :P) I think your characterizations of those two are perfect for the story you’ve written; Harry needs family more than ever right now, and with one part of his family dead, another part somewhat broken up and enraged at one another, the Potter grandparents are the only ones he has left to really talk to. So every single time that Euphemia and Fleamont speak, I want to laugh and cry at the same time! They give me so many emotions because this is what Harry could have had throughout his life, but just missed by an intersection of some seventeen years.
I am all for Ron and Hermione leaving England at a moment’s notice, the Muggle way. I think they really need a break, and I’m sure that Harry and Ginny would understand. There is something incredibly romantic and somewhat elope-like about it, even though Australia is perhaps not the ideal honeymoon location. :P But the way Ron asked, so sleepily!! I hold firm by my idea that Ron is subconsciously the sweetest and most romantic member of the Golden Trio. :P
Oh, Ginny. The way she and Harry interact with one another, even after a blow-up, is too too sweet. I WANT TO CRY.
Hi Dan! Here for the CMDC review event round 2!
Ugggh...really don’t want to read this chapter, but also, I do.
I like the image of Hermione doing up Ron’s tie for him. It’s an intimate thing and it’s very like her to be sort of taking care of this for him because she knows he's a wreck, while at the same time it also serves to give her something to do with herself.
Harry was prepared for a long day of squashing his feelings into a tiny, dense ball and pushing them far into the depths of his mind.
^I really like the way you have phrased this sensation.
Cheering Charms is a fascinating idea; I like what you’ve done with that, likening it to a habit-forming drug.
His expression was as troubled as any of the other mourners, but subtly different somehow. Maybe it was the difference between wondering how such a thing could happen and wondering how such a thing could happen again.
^I really like the lines you dedicated to Amos Diggory among all the other mourners, and in particular this very astute observation! I mean, most people wouldn't have even necessarily thought to point out in particular that Amos was in attendance, but you have done it and made a poignant moment out of it.
I am really glad you worked in this bit of nervous, awkward humor among the pallbearers. It’s very realistic, and frankly Fred would have appreciated it. I am so tickled by the idea of Fred and Groge moving Ginny’s height mark to make her think she was getting shorter. That is an insanely clever idea (by both the twins and by you).
I thought you did a really great job with Harry’s thoughts and emotions throughout, how he tries to keep himself from being emotional, how he can’t move away from the casket, how he becomes irrationally fixated on this idea of moving the casket away from the burial spot. All sorts of crazy things that one thinks when trying to deal with something like this.
This bit at the end is very exciting and unexpected and also quite sad. I had a feeling we’d be seeing Molly finally succumbing to something other than the purposeful efficiency we saw from her a few chapters ago, but never anything like this. But it does raise some interesting questions -- after all, we know that magical kids can make a lot of crazy things happen when they’re emotional, so a full grown witch or wizard who loses control must be catastrophic. It’s a really haunting scene.
All in all in this chapter, I think you made really excellent use of an ensemble cast, if you will. Even though the bulk of it is from Harry’s perspective, we have some strong characters here making themselves known. Charlie being the one who’s holding it together the best and checking in on everyone else. Fleur taking Ginny from Harry to console her (I dearly love Fleur and am pleased to see her being treated well here; she is a gracious and caring person and an excellent partner for Bill, in my opinion). Lee being attentive to George. Percy being rather unintentionally funny at times.
It was a rough chapter to read, but it was handled nicely.
After I read this chapter, I had to take a step back and walk around to compose my thoughts—this chapter was so incredibly difficult to read. It was beautiful and extremely well-written, but I have never felt more depressed while reading a chapter in my life—but somehow it makes sense that the ultimate jokester’s funeral would be the saddest affair. What I thought was particularly strong about this chapter was the intensity of everyone’s emotions. With every word you wrote, the characters’ taut and angry and upset moods came alive, and I felt furious and devastated alongside them. For instance, Hermione was just stretched tight with anger, to the point where I felt like my insides were about to explode because of the intensity of her fury. She got so irritated with every little thing, which is such a good depiction of how people are during periods of grief—everyone has different reactions, and Hermione happens to show it in this way. (Ron, as well.)
All throughout, I felt so so bad for each and every one of them. The Weasleys, for losing a sibling that they had grown up with their entire lives, and Harry, for still continuing to think that everything that happened was entirely his fault. Nothing’s your fault, Harry! Please understand that. *sob*
Even in a funeral scene, you manage humor that doesn’t sound immediately blasphemous, when the group of pallbearers are remembering the absolutely nonsensical things that Fred pulled with George. Like, I actually snorted a little bit when Bill mentioned them changing’s Ginny’s height mark hahaha, I could so easily imagine a tiny enraged Ginny, zooming around the house and giving Fred and George a piece of her mind. And the idea that Harry made that joke about how Fred and George were beaning the Lord Voldemort in the face with snowballs! That gave me so much hope, that the funeral was going to be better, that everyone would feel a little more comfortable. But though I’m sure they know that Fred probably would’ve have preferred his funeral to be full of gaiety and laughter, perhaps even making fun of him, their own emotions are too heavy for that. I think this chapter is a perfect example of how funerals are for the living, and not the dead, and it makes me wonder why funerals are as common as they are. :(
Everyone’s last words to Fred were absolutely beautiful. I don’t know how you manage to bring out so many emotions in me, but I have been overwhelmed with grief and sadness for the past twenty minutes hahaha. I love how, without Fred once appearing in this story, we can tell the kind of impact that Fred had on everyone in the family, and how much they genuinely treasured him. Percy’s little confession at the end had me just about WAILING; the way you wove in that reference to Fred’s last laugh etched on his face was so flawless and beautiful. Percy, of all people, cracked a joke, and Fred, being the generous, wonderful soul he was, laughed, and I’M JUST GONNA SOB TILL NEXT MORNING.
What is happening with Mrs. Weasley??? I’m really really worried about her—I don’t know if this is a result of her addled-up state due to all the potions and spells, or if someone has done something to her. With the forest suddenly sprouting up like that and disturbing everything, I wonder if that’s just the power of a mother whose grief is overwhelming and potent? I really hope that she hasn’t become reliant on the potions and spells…and that things will be okay.
Hahaha Ron and Hermione’s little honeymoon grace period was rather short, wasn’t it? :P These two both have such high tempers, that it’s impossible to imagine them spending even a week together without quibbling. But I think Ron is growing in terms of his emotional intelligence—the way that he apologized to Hermione immediately after was really sweet. I think between Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione, I love the way you write the latter the most, because they reflect best the kinds of relationships a lot of regular teenagers are in. For instance, when Hermione contemplated refusing to take Ron’s hand out of spite, that was really super relatable. It’s so easy to just let resentful feelings overwhelm you, which you demonstrate so well with these two—but I love that you show their communication smoothing over the difficulties, as well. Poor Ron. He must be so tense and grief-stricken, with Fred’s funeral arriving, so I actually think it’s surprising he’s not losing his temper more often. It would be completely understandable if he did, after all. (I love him for apologizing to Hermione so soon, and not letting it drag on into a larger misunderstanding!! <3)
You’re writing the Golden Trio’s transition from being teenagers into adults so well. I particularly loved how you depicted Hermione and Ron’s sense of betrayal that Harry wanted Ginny to accompany him to the vaults. It seems that Ginny has become the person that he confides in the most nowadays (given she’s his future spouse!!! very exciting!!!), which I think is an understandable development that Hermione and Ron should be braced for. Their initial sense of disappointment made me a little sad, but I hope that they can grow into this new stage of their life. (And I think I was definitely entirely wrong about Hermione being fond of Harry romantically, earlier—she and Ron both seem to care about Harry in the same platonic way, which is fab!)
I DO NOT HAVE MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE LINGERIE OTHER THAN I’M SURE GINNY WILL LOOK ESPECIALLY HOT WEARING THEM.
Oh my god Hagrid’s note… *sob* I find it amazing how much you were able to communicate about Hagrid’s personality in that tiny slip of paper. Like, the fact that immediately after Lily and James’s death, immediately after dropping Harry off, Hagrid thought to write a teensy little note for the then-baby Harry is UNBELIEVABLY sweet. I genuinely felt tears prickling when I read it, and I’m sure even right now I look like I’m about to cry—that was just completely unexpected but so in-character. Which makes it even better.
“Ginny was surprised how quickly she’d become desensitized to shoulder-high piles of money.” TRUE. This line is a very accurate reflection of how I think modern-day billionaires and millionaires must feel about their money, so I’m extremely glad that it doesn’t look Harry’s about to take all this money out and spend it lavishly on frivolous things. He definitely has more important things to worry about.
HE GOT TO MEET HIS GRANDPARENTS (or their portraits, at least). It was really lucky that they were captured in their old age, so that their portraits could retain all the memories they had during their lives.) That description of Euphemia’s painting crying was a stroke of art, I literally reread it like five times because I thought it was so beautiful. I never would’ve thought to describe it through the added colors/paint strokes, but of course you did! I feel like you think of everything when you write, which is why your story is so rich with these details that most people wouldn’t even consider as possibilities, including myself, and I LOVE it. <3
The book of pictures made me want to cry again. However, the lack of hesitation with which Harry destroyed the pictures with Peter Pettigrew made me laugh hahaha. I can’t imagine how Harry must’ve felt, looking at this. His parents have continuously been shown to him throughout his time at Hogwarts, to the point where he must feel like he knows them, but it’s all from a time he doesn’t remember. And you depict that sort of conflicting sadness so so well, which is why I ALSO FEEL VERY SAD.
HARRY’S GETTING BETTER THOUGH, YAY. <3
This was such a fantastic chapter, and gave me so many emotions and feelings. Thank you so much. <3
I'm back for one last review for the CDMC Event - Round 2! I'm kind of bummed that this is the last posted chapter of this story for now. You already know I absolutely love it and I would've happily read many more chapters, so hopefully you'll post some new ones soon.
Wow. Ginny does an awful lot of mental gymnastics to justify going off to Romilda's on her own. Ultimately, I think she knows deep down that it isn't necessarily the safest thing to do. But she's young and hurting and so she's going to do it anyway. I'm glad she at least left Harry a note.
I feel so bad seeing how paranoid Romilda's father has gotten. Clearly, he's struggling with some PTSD. I hope that he's able to find some help eventually.
I'm glad that Ginny was reunited with Arnold. I'd have been very sad if he'd have died and I feel like it would've just been one mor tragedy in Ginny's life.
OMG. Romilda was hilarious. She seriously has no shame at all. I think some of that comes from just sheer desperation of being locked in a house with a paranoid person, but some of that is also just who she is. It's nice to see after Ginny's interaction with Hermione in chapter 10, that Ginny too can be embarrassed when someone speaks a little too bluntly. I feel like most of the stuff Romilda was asking shouldn't be asked without at least a couple of glasses of wine first anyway.
Poor Harry, trying to be accommodating of Ginny's friends when all Ginny wants is for him to say no, Romilda isn't allowed in this house. Why bother asking him anyway? She could've just sent a message back saying Harry wants privacy and no one would've been any wiser.
Harry is so oblivious. How did he not realize that Doge set him up to do a meet and greet with all of those people? Sometimes I wonder how he survived the war....but then I remember that he had Ron to point out the obvious and Hermione to keep them from doing anything stupid.
I do find it a bit strange that Ginny is so thrown by Harry having to deal with unforgivable curses. I mean, he's going into law enforcement. He's likely going to be dealing with the grimy underbelly of magical Britain. Why would she think he wouldn't be at risk of having to deal with them? Pretty naïve for someone that was just cracking on Harry about being naïve.
Has Harry not learned anything about trying random spells in books by this point? I feel like it was kind of foolish for him to just randomly try it on a statue. What if it had been something worse? I do really like the detail that you added about Rosier editing the spells out of the books. That makes a ton of sense and would've been something I never really gave much thought to.
Aww. The bit about Hedwig really tugged at my heartstrings. After Fred and Dobby's deaths, I think Hedwig was the next saddest. He really showed why people love their pets so much. He died defending his owner.
That letter was such a gut punch. It's terrible to think that Andromeda would feel like Teddy wouldn't be cared for financially. Of course, Harry would intend to take care of him and I'm sure Kingsley and some others would want to help out with Teddy too. I'm glad that Ginny helped Harry write that response to her. She's right that they can iron out all of the details in person.
The interactions between Kingsley and Robards might be my favorite part of the chapter. I think both of them are very smart and make great observations. Of course, Robards must be concerned about fast tracking Harry and skeptical of his abilities based on his overall sort of childishness. But Kingsley is absolutely right in all of his explanations of Harry's quirks. I think Harry will rise to the occasion. They just need to channel his impulsiveness the right way.
I think my favorite part of their convo is that having paperwork cleared off of his desk far outweighs the potential danger of rushing Harry's education and training.
As always, excellent writing!
The introduction to this chapter broke my heart. I think this is the first time that Harry has let down his walls enough to actually talk to someone about his dreams and express how distressing they are. I wanted to cry when he said, “I did what I was supposed to. I did what Dumbledore said… Why doesn't it stop?” Those few sentences of dialogue were written so perfectly, they punched me in the heart and gut and everywhere else with feelings, and it sparks a very mother-bear rage in me because I’m positively livid that the world did this to Harry. No wonder Ginny is so furious with Dumbledore; his name is so closely linked with everything that Harry lived for in his ten years at Hogwarts.
The contrast between Harry’s nightmare and Ginny’s pleasant dream about flying was almost shocking, which made the emotional impact that much stronger. While Ginny’s dreams about the future have happy endings, Harry’s dreams about the future are tarnished by his trauma (such as his dream about Teddy many chapters ago).
Okay I was riveted throughout the entire negotiation with the goblins! Usually, business negotiations don’t catch my interest easily, but I thought the vaguely concealed threats were very interesting! Whenever I see goblins in Harry Potter nowadays, I get slightly uncomfortable because of the anti-Semitic vibes they give off (like is the only job goblins want to do…banking…?), but I really appreciated Hermione’s later comment where she said that, like humans, goblins have nuances in terms of personality and morality! Thank goodness for Harry and his sense of ethics when it came to Griphook, though, because that definitely impressed the goblins a great deal. :P I was so proud of him!!!
Ron and Hermione seem to be going through that vaguely nauseating phase when teenaged couples are very touchy with one another and give off somewhat saccharine vibes hahaha, but that’s okay. I’m going to forgive these two, and only these two, because they suffered through a war and therefore deserve it. :P Harry and Ginny though hmm?? Very teenagery, they are, going off and kissing (as well as some other things) at every available moment.
I really, really love how well you’re able to balance the humor with the more serious elements of this story. It’s actually very impressive, because neither feels out of place, and the various emotions that I feel blend into one another without feeling jarring. So while Ginny is making some crude joke, I can laugh at that and then go smoothly into wanting to cry when Harry admits his troubles. Ugh these two will be the death of me, they are TOO cute, and make me TOO happy. :’)
I absolutely love this story so far! I feel like you’ve really nailed the characterizations of these iconic characters. <3
This chapter was somehow incredibly uplifting, and empowering, and hilarious, all in one, and for the most part all the kids are just thinking about sexytimes hahaha! Hermione, lying awake in bed because she wanted to do sexy things with Ron!! I barely recognize her! :P I really thought this chapter was a good way to continue from the previous one’s discussions of where their respective romances were headed; as an intellectual, Hermione would clearly be too curious to then actually sleep after her talk with Ron.
That scene where she tried (and failed) seducing Ron gave me so much secondhand embarrassment omg. Not for any bad reason! :P Mostly just because it makes so much sense that this kind of somewhat nightmarish experience can happen to anyone, and that not all first times are going to be smooth and flawless (which Harry and Ginny’s was definitely closer to). Like, I think I would die of embarrassment if that kind of thing happened to me, and experiencing it through Hermione’s eyes was somehow as painful as if I’d experienced it myself hahaha.
AHA I knew that Ginny was not actually sleeping! That look that she gave Harry earlier, before they prepped for bed, was not subtle whatsoever. :P Let’s be real, Ginny is seriously the GREATEST friend. She has enough self-confidence for like five people, and as a result is great at teaching self-confidence to other people, like Hermione! I thought her extremely embarrassingly blunt statements were perhaps the most helpful things for Hermione. Perhaps embarrassing Hermione a little bit in a girls’ bathroom was then helpful for Hermione conquering embarrassment later on. :P
Ron is such a sweetheart omg. When he kept checking the time every few minutes to see how long it had been, I wanted to almost cry, it was so ridiculous and cute. He’s so oblivious to so many things, but he’s genuinely trying his very best, and just wants to know how to please Hermione! Ahh I love him so much. And I’m glad that in the end, he and Hermione got their moment. <3
Hahaha Ron marveling over Chinese food is my absolute favorite thing! Perhaps he should learn how to cook it so that he can make Chinese food at home for himself! :P That entire opening actually just raised my spirits entirely, because for once these lovely teenagers had all the happiness and freedom in the world. There were no worries, no cares—they could just loudly praise Chinese food to the skies and back without any consequences. It almost feels like the first time that any of them have had a conversation entirely separate from the war (I mean, they had a whole mini-debate about dragons!! which is so adorably nerdy!!), which hopefully means that things will gradually look up for them as more time passes!
One specific line that I found interesting was this: “Any reporter who sent a flying camera after them would end up in Azkaban for violating the Statute of Secrecy.” I suppose that it confirms the flying camera letters from two chapters ago were entirely legal, which is kind of astonishing! It would be the equivalent of sneaking a camera into a school and taking pictures of children there, wouldn’t it?? What is wrong with the wizarding world where reporters can essentially harass minors just because they have a famous student as a classmate?
This chapter had me almost singing because of how much healthy communication was going on!! I think that two people discussing their feelings for one another in a story is criminally underrated. For instance, when Hermione and Ron were brave enough to ask each other how they felt, my insides basically leapt for joy! Imagine the amount of useless time they would’ve spent pining had they just been awkwardly remaining silent on the matter! I also think it was very humorously forward of Hermione to ask Ron about how far he went with Lavender hahaha, the embarrassment on that boy’s face was worth a pot of gold omg. Like, he could barely get the words out of his mouth! :P In some ways, Ron is a natural romantic in his mind (e.g. he is genuinely happy when Hermione is happy, he thinks of her smile as the most beautiful), but then once he starts TALKING, things fall apart. :P I love him so much.
Harry and Ginny are also displaying excellent communication habits! And they are officially together now!!! This is so exciting, I haven’t read a story with young Harry/Ginny in ages, and you write them so well! It’s generally difficult to be vulnerable in front of someone, but I think for Harry and Ginny, it’s easier for them to be so open, which is why they’re perfect! And should be together forever!
(There have been a lot of exclamation points in my review, but this chapter gave me much excitement. :P)
I adore your Bill. His implication that he was going home to Fleur for ~reasons~ was so hilarious. He seems like a generally great older brother, though! Teasing but responsible, and generally on the selfless side. (That story of him taking the blame for Ginny was soo sweet. I’m just imagining them as kids, with Ginny being a baby still, and him just protecting her from their mother’s wrath in that way. Ugh TOO cute. <3) I wonder if he’s rather protective of Ginny still, which is why he wasn’t as open about teasing her as he did Ron?
I’m very much looking forward to seeing the continual progression of these two relationships! <3
Hahaha I see that Harry has found a kindred spirit in Kreacher. :P In all seriousness, though, it’s actually so startling how much Kreacher echoes Harry’s own thoughts! That telltale guilt, and almost refusing agency to the people who made their own choices and sacrifices through that guilt, can be devastating to see, and I’m honestly so so glad that Harry at least caught a semi-glimpse of himself in Kreacher in this chapter! I must say, though, the entire time that Harry was preaching advice to Kreacher, I was internally hopping up and down, yelling, HARRY. LISTEN TO YOURSELF, HYPOCRITE. I love the way that you drew the parallel between the two of them, though. I thought it was incredibly done, and also showed a great deal about the kind of person Kreacher was—he really genuinely loved Regulus with his entire little being. Which actually is a very touching thought. <3
As depressing as it is that Kreacher spent his grief just refurnishing the entire living space of Number 12 Grimmauld Place, I’m really glad that it gave him the opportunity to spill his heart out to Harry. After this chapter, I realized that a Harry and Kreacher bonding experience is something I never knew I needed hahaha, so I really hope we get to see more of this wonderful, charming elf in the future! Perhaps Harry and Kreacher can even have a whole heart-to-heart so that they can really help one another out in this difficult time. (I loved how Hermione and Ron were just like rolling their eyes in the background while Harry was chatting to Kreacher hahaha, that was a fabulous moment.)
I am always a huge fan of girl talks, so I loved the scene between Hermione and Ginny!! It does seem like Hermione has been projecting her own securities about her relationship with Ron onto the relationship between Harry and Ginny—though I also wonder if Hermione does have some feelings for Harry? I’m not quite sure if I’m imagining it, though! Ginny’s moment of jealousy later on made me a tad nervous, so I’m just really hoping that Hermione is perfectly content with Ron (she seems to be, which is good!). Can I be friends with Ginny though?? The candid and blunt way that she talks about sex is so hilarious; you’ve written her as the confident powerhouse she is, which I am totally digging. :P BUT YES, Hermione told Ginny to give Harry a second chance! Hermione has grown past her doubts!! I am very proud of her. <3
It is the absolute funniest thing that Ginny spends like a solid seven paragraphs music about whether or not she wants to take advantage of Number 12 Grimmauld’s place size and privacy to just have sex with Harry as much as possible. It’s so delightfully premature, considering she hasn’t even told him that she wants to be with him yet, and I was absolutely tickled pink. If there was anything that could make me like Ginny more, it was that hilarious sequence of her thoughts there.
I’m really glad that this group of kids gets to go out to a restaurant and just eat. They really deserve it. I’m also jealous, because I am currently quite hungry. :P
Oh, I desperately want Harry to meet baby Teddy! This would be the first story I’ve read where Harry actually gets to meet baby Teddy and take care of him, and perhaps playing with and taking care with such a small being would help Harry in some way. Though, his dream did seem to be the manifestation of his worries; even though Harry would not need to raise Teddy at all, he still seems to be completely overwhelmed by just the concept of picking a baby up. He’s so smothered with guilt right now—every chapter, he looks like he’s getting worse and worse, and I really really think he should talk with a therapist about his PTSD and debilitating emotions. (Does the wizarding world even have psychologists? For Harry’s sake, let’s hope it does.) I had hoped that Hermione’s firm talk with him would’ve helped him realize that no one blames him for anything, but alas. :(
It’s so difficult watching Harry’s mind betray him like this. Every step of the way, he flinches because he’s worried that someone’s going to yell at him or accuse him, and though perhaps under normal circumstances someone would be able to speak some sense into him, it really seems like a deeper psychological issue. Your writing helped remind me that wars aren’t just exciting, action-filled battles that raise adrenaline levels and such—they cause soldiers genuine pain and trauma. Which is why your Harry is so phenomenal. He represents such a large sector of soldiers who need all the help they can get after returning to war, but never receive it—but in Harry’s case, I really, really hope he receives help.
I wish Harry knew that the Weasleys thought of him as their family! He’s shaky and paranoid to the point where Mrs. Weasley wanting to talk to him made him nauseated and upset. That scene made me want to cry, though—it was genuinely heartwarming watching her fuss over him and making sure that he was getting enough to eat. It’s such a motherly thing to do, because of course! Mrs. Weasley considers him to be her son! She’s going to love him till the end of time, and if I could yell that into Harry’s ear until it rings around in his head, I would. And then later, when Mr. Weasley wanted him to be the pallbearer for Fred, the exact same thing happened. I really think the entire Weasley family needs to give Harry a massive group hug. Communal crying can be helpful sometimes. <3
Okay I CANNOT express how much I loved Harry’s revelation about how he has not truly seen a final death before. That was such a beautiful yet harrowing moment. Like, it’s so true—almost everyone around him who died, he was able to see a mirage/apparition of them at some point. No wonder why he was so startled by the fact that Fred’s body was to be buried; I wonder if that’s the first time he’s actually had to bury someone apart from Dobby?
Were those cameras from the press?? Is that even legal??? How rude of them! However, I am really glad that this spurred their decision to leave Hogwarts for the time being. I’m really curious to see where their obligations take them in the future! <3
WAIT THAT PLOT TWIST OMG. HOW IS HE ALIVE! HOW! MY MIND IS COMPLETELY BOGGLED RIGHT NOW.
But first! I thought this chapter was brilliantly written! It was really smart of you to include a detailed recap of everything that happened when the Golden Trio went off searching for horcruxes—I knew most of the information, but there were some minor events here and there that I had totally forgotten about, so reading the Golden Trio’s story again was a good way to shine more context on the events surrounding their victory. But what I found most impressive about this chapter is how compelling you managed to make their story! Despite the fact that Harry and Hermione and Ron were simply exchanging lines back and forth, explaining their story, I could not tear my eyes. And it was all stuff I’d heard before, as well! You somehow managed to summarize the entire seventh book without making it boring, which I think you accomplished by including Ron’s internal thoughts in between the passages of dialogue.
All in all, I thought it was a very well-written chapter.
It made me so sad to see Ron’s feelings of inadequacy pop up again! When I read his self-deprecating thoughts, I wanted to (gently) smack him over the head with a frying pan or something, to knock some confidence back into him! I completely understand his line of thinking of thinking in this story, of course, but it’s never good for someone to feel a lack of confidence in themselves. I just want him to be as happy as possible. He’s one of my absolute favorite characters, and I think you write him marvelously! You give him those quips and jokes and swears that he’s known for, which you balance perfectly between his more serious, contemplative side. (I spy some hints of a seriously romantic nature in Ron, as well, which I adore hahaha.) <3
I find it really interesting how much Harry wants to defend Dumbledore and Snape! Both of them did inarguably questionable things, which Ginny actually points out—I think it makes complete sense for her to be completely furious with both Dumbledore and Snape! Whatever side Snape was on, he was genuinely cruel to Harry and Ron, and Dumbledore should have been way more honest about his plans and intentions with Harry! But I think because so much of Harry’s success in the war was due to those two men, he feels an irreplaceable gratitude towards them, and finds it difficult when others talk badly of them? Even if I do tend to agree with Ginny more than Harry, haha. :P
HAHAHA McGonagall going off on Dumbledore at the end just totally made my day! Go Minnie! :P
BUT ONTO THE REAL QUESTION. Why is Snape here??? Did they somehow rescue him right before he actually died? And how did McGonagall know where he was? Why have they been keeping him IN THE WALL? I have so many questions omg.
Amazing chapter, as always! <3