wish i could explain what all i feel in words to my loved ones
This is stunning. Beautiful, poignant, sincere. I love it. You are an incredibly talented writer.
Incredible. I love your writing -- it's just beautiful. After reading "Take My Heart Away" I expected your other fics to be amazing, and I wasn't the least bit disappointed.
Oh, that was a beautiful fic. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while now, and I’ve only just remembered to finally do so.
The first months of peace explode in Harry’s face with the ferocity, the devastation, of a long dormant bomb. What a fantastic start to a fic. I knew immediately that this was going to be something really special, and I was right. The imagery you create here (and everywhere, really, but I’ll get to that later) is startling, but it’s perfect. I mean, it just brings us, the reader, right into the fic, right into Harry’s life after Voldemort. And of course, the idea of peace exploding is a lovely use of words and juxtaposing ideas.
Superimposed over the bright, restored version of the castle is another image, an image of a broken, hollowed building, bent pitifully to the will of those who once invaded it. More of that amazing imagery. I love ‘bent pitifully to the will.’ It’s rather chilling, actually. And just the fact that there’s Hogwarts and there’s Harry’s Hogwarts. And then you bring in the solution; someone’s fixed what was broken. Guh. The language in this fic is beyond awesome.
From day one he’s been living off of somebody else’s time, snatching a little here, stealing a little there, desperate to stay alive for another hour, minute, second. Now he has more time than he knows what to do with. I love the idea here; it’s exactly right for Harry. You do such a good job of showing us what Harry’s life is like now. Of course it’s completely different, and it makes sense that it was hard at first for him to adjust to a ‘normal’ life. Suddenly he doesn’t have to save everybody, and he doesn’t really know what to do with that. It’s sad to think of Harry so unsure about everything, but it’s written so beautifully here that I suppose it’s okay. -wink-
And he can remember. Yes, he can remember. But eventually that’s all he can do. This fic is breaking my heart, you know that? The mention of Remus and Tonks dying, and how people die like that all the time…it’s just chilling.
I think the decision to use spring as the last season for this fic is a really interesting one, especially the way that you use it. Normally people associate happiness and all that with spring, but you begin the spring section with ‘washed out.’ It just creates a whole different feeling, and it’s great. But then you move through the season, and things become brighter for Harry, and you manage to end on somewhat of a happy note. There are still some clouds there, but there’s hope. Ginny sees it, and Harry wants it, and they know that they’ll be okay.
So in case you couldn’t tell, I love this fic. It’s written so beautifully and just…great, great job. I can’t wait to see more fics from you in the future.
This is a wonderful story that shows the struggles...almost of Post traumatic stress disorder. I love the way the reader can see the subtle transformation through the seasons as Harry struggles with in himself to find joy in living, to stop worrying about his safety and that of those he loves. Great word choices and emphasis on the major points of each section.
That was so much nicer than the epilogue!
Wow, Maddy! I love this fic. I always used to wonder how much weight Harry's "Enough trouble for a lifetime" held in reality. And this proves it. You're a wonderful writer, Maddy.
Maddy love, this story is pure brilliance! Everything is exactly as it should be, the trauma Harry has suffered translates perfectly into your lines. So does his love for Ginny. Also, in the end, when Ginny is talking about only ever living in one house, the emotions from that one sentence are - wow. That seems to be all I can say. Its brilliant. Truly.
Wow, Maddy this was wonderful!
I had always thought that the moment the war ended Harry was free and after the grief from the losses they all suffered would come peace. I suppose I didn't think about it enough, because this certainly seems much more real than my hasty idea. It was wonderfully written. I was really impressed. I don't think I've ever read any of you stuff before.
I found a missing word here:
They say they’ll take him to a place where all he has to is breathe.
I think you just forgot to add 'do' after 'to'. :)
I won't go back and pick out my favorite parts because there were too many. This was truly wonderful! Sorry I only got around to reviewing now...
This is a beautiful piece of writing. I've recently become interested in this kind of Post-Howarts fiction, that's about pain but also about healing and moving on, and this is a good one. I love Your Heart Is An Empty Room, as well. =)
The bomb simile at the beginning is really perfect. I don't think that most people would consider how shocking the sudden outpouring of celebration would be, after he's been through so much. However, I felt like you contradicted this later in the paragraph, when you described how Harry felt like he was floating through life. Perhaps it can be compared to shell-shock, extending the metaphor.
He has a dream one night. Soft hands lift him out of his bed. He opens his eyes and their faces are like maps of a country he’s never been to but has always wanted to go. They say they’ll take him to a place where all he has to is breathe.
He says okay.
This passage made me want to cry. The phrase “like maps of a country he's never been to but has always wanted to go” reminded me of Harry in HBP, saying that his time with Ginny had been like something out of someone else's life, and the tenderness that it makes me envision Ron and Hermione treating Harry with makes my heart ache with love for them, and for Harry.
The next section was also beautiful, but more in the overall than any particular lines. Autumn is his favorite time of year, because it means coming home. The idea of the Hogwarts of Harry's real childhood (in a sense), being lost to him, is heart-breaking. I especially liked the image of a broken Hogwarts superimposed over the reconstructed Hogwarts.
While I liked much of this fic very much, it felt melodramatic in places. I think it's partially because post-war Harry DH, both right after the battle and then in the epilogue, seems to content and untroubled. That's not what I was expecting, and in truth I feel a bit like that would have been a little more appropriate for him to not be quite so light-hearted right after the the battle (though I did like that he seemed to have found peace in the epilogue, as he rightly should have.) It also seemed as though it jumped around a bit, and so the coherency wasn't the best.
In the end this is a solid, often very lovely one-shot, and I'm glad that I read it. When he looks into her eyes they say, quite simply, “Welcome to the rest of your life.”
I get two kinds of fic-cravings, Maddy. Sometimes, I just want to lean back on my couch with a light-hearted Ron/Hermione, perhaps some cheerful Teddy/Victoire or a Luna missing moment. But at other times, I want something with more meaning and depth, something to be enjoyed while perched at the very edge of my seat. Something like the story you’ve shared with us here.
This is ‘post-Hogwarts’ in its truest meaning, isn’t it? And, incidentally, it’s exactly what I was looking for when I ventured into the category for something to read; someone’s version of what happened to Harry after the war.
I haven’t read the Robert Frost poem and although I might have heard the song you refer to, I don’t have the lyrics memorised. But I don’t need that to appreciate the stunningly poetic quality of your writing. I’m guessing that you’re familiar with Noldo’s works? If not, I warmly recommend them to you, so that you’ll know I mean to pay you a great compliment by comparing your writing to hers. Just as her stories, this text is scattered with difficult words, sometimes too difficult for a poor Swede to understand, but I very much appreciate that – if my knowledge of English was never challenged, how would I ever improve? And I believe that goes for one or two native English speakers/writers, too. So thank you very much for that, ;)
While I greatly admire everything about your style and language, I’m a bit torn about your interpretation of Harry. I agree that he probably spent the first few months after Voldemort’s death in some kind of haze, but I’m less certain about the numbness that followed. It’s hard to explain; I think that it’s completely likely that Harry would make up his mind about going back to Hogwarts but then realise, at the last minute, that there is no going back. But I can’t really see him being very traumatised or ‘jumpy’ at Ginny’s touch. Yes, we’ve seen Harry despair in the books, yes, there’s been death and loss and grief, but remember how strong Harry was when he finally beat Voldemort, how confident he seemed? Somehow I have a hard time picturing a ‘breakdown’ after that. I do realise that your one-shot revolves around this, but an alternative might have been to put more emphasis on Harry trying to come to terms with his freedom. The ‘no going back’ part – which is what I like best from your story, by the way – could still have played a central role in that. Of course, this is just my blabbering analysis of sorts, naturally I’m not suggesting that you rewrite your whole fic. I see what you have chosen to write here, and I think that you have done it in a very appealing way.
I’d like to round off this review by complimenting you on the Harry/Ginny pairing you’ve written. It’s very relaxed, somehow; it’s nice to see how they trust each other, how, even with the dash of Harry!angst, you never mention a doubt about whether they should remain together. I thought this was very wise of you, because in a story with so much uncertainty, it’s nice to have something steady to lean on – which is exactly what Harry does in the end, isn’t it?
You’re truly a very accomplished writer, Maddy dear!
Oh i can't wait to read more!!!!
Author's Response: Actually, the story is over, as this was just a short vingette about how Harry coped with war. I'm glad you liked it enough to want another chapter, though! :D
Wow! This was a lovely story and very well written. I love how you've broken it up into seasons of that first year after the battle, it's very befitting. You've shown great imagery and characterization with each section, making each it's own. Yet, each section seems to flow fluidly into the other, just like the seasons they represent. I'm very impressed.
Okay, so lets start with Summer. You've done really well in showing how numb Harry, as well as anyone in that situation, might have felt after such a trying experience. The way you've shown him relieved that it's all over which is almost unbelievable to him. The words and phrases used, such as the following excerpt, are done so well. This section, for me, signified his numbness at everything he has experienced.
The weightlessness makes him dizzy, and for months he knows nothing but a soft, gentle sort of unconcern for everyone and everything around him.
On to Fall, in which you've made sure to mention the damage that had been done to Hogwarts during the battle there. I must thank you for including that. The perfect way you have Harry able to see the repair that has been done but know that the castle itself will never look quite the same to him is absolutely masterful. I really liked the fact that you didn't have him go ahead with his seventh year, it shows that he is aware that he's grown out of that phase of his life and it's not something he can relive. Great symbolism. Maybe not the best line in the entire submission, but it's one of my favorites:
He turns away and knows, with a terrible certainty, that he will never look back.
I've interpreted this section as a period of grieving.
The next piece of this work is Winter, which again I think you've done superbly well. I like how you have used Ginny as his anchor to the here and now of it, how he sees her as his futre; a future he never thought he would have. I also like how you've included little Teddy there at the end. During this part Harry seems almost anxious to be out there fighting for a cause once again, but has feelings of guilty for wishing this. A perfect example of those feelings is this excerpt:
The sad truth is this. Life, minus raging dragons, breathless heists, and legendary quests, isn’t everything he thought it would be.
Again, I have my own interpretation of this area which is a feeling of restlessness, and anger at not being thankful for what he has.
Lastly, we come to Spring in which you show Harry moving on to the next great adventure of his life - or at least the beginning of it-, the starting of a family. He seems very content in this passage, very happy with the way things have turned out. It seems he's slowly come to terms with everything that happened the year before, which you've signified with this excerpt:
He stands looking out at the ocean, a bright startling blue despite the greyness of the sky above. Maybe this is how acceptance begins. Quietly.
I'm sure with these last passages that acceptance was the theme, as states in the excerpt.
Again, I loved this fic. It's possbly one of the best, most poetic pieces I've ever read. Great Job!
~Stacy~ of the Gryff Review Crew
Author's Response: Thank you for this incredible review; I almost never get reviews this long and in-depth, and it means so much to me. To respond to some of your comments: I'm glad you apprehended the numbness I was trying convey with the summer season, almost like a hazy sense of relief, so strong that it sent Harry into a sort of numb euphoria.
When J.K. said in an interview that Harry didn't go back for his final year, it got me thinking about why he didn't and inspired more of this fic. I think that after a seven-year war it would be almost incomprehensible for Harry to go back to Hogwarts like nothing at all had happened.
I love how you've interpreted the seasons: numbness, sadness/anger, guilt, acceptance. I meant to sort of outline the stages of grief with this fic, splitting stages with seasons.
Again, thank you. I am so flattered and awed by this in-depth review. :)
I absolutely love this. It’s written so beautifully and the imagery and pace are amazing. I feel like I can relate to Harry and the emotions he’s going through after the war, especially when he realizes Hogwarts will never be the same to him again and his restlessness with life as a normal person. And I love the ending – it’s hopeful and promising without being sappy. Thank you so much for writing this!
Author's Response: Thank you very much -- I'm glad you enjoyed the autumn/Hogwarts section, which almost wrote itself on the first go. I had to think a bit about summer and spring, but that bit about Hogwarts came very naturally. I'm glad that you don't think it's sappy, as I tend to write on the sappy side and have been trying to veer away from that with recent attempts. Thanks again!
I like this a lot. It's nicely written and you do a good job of expressing post-war Harry. I like how you characterize him, you've done a brilliant job.
Author's Response: Thank you! I've never really written Harry before so I'm glad you think I pulled it off.
Wow. Just wow. That was absolutely beautiful. I've never read anything like it. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Your writing style rivals the top authors of this world. Actually I'd say your writing is better than any book I've read. I hope you plan to write more stories for us someday!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you very much, that's a huge compliment. I definitely plan to write more; I just finished a novel-length fanfic about Regulus Black that I'm planning to post soon.
Refreshing writing style--sort of a different way of looking at Harry's process after the war, but it rings true I think. My only bit of constructive criticism would be the last sentence--it just doesn't quite flow as well as the rest of your writing, which really has a nice rhythm to it. At any rate, nice job--keep writing!
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you think it's a realistic depiction, and criticism is always helpful, since I'm not the best judge of my own writing. ;)
Wow, this is absolutely AMAZING. Your writing is GORGEOUS; it’s like poetry:
Greyish blue, it blends into solemn April and smears into garish June, eschewing its own identity entirely.
Your imagery is incredible and fit so perfectly, I could actually see the seasons. You did a great job getting into Harry’s mind, and that was some of the best H/G I’ve read in a long time. Awesome work!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm no good at poetry, I prefer prose much more. Also I love colours and seasons. ;) Hee, H/G isn't my favorite ship ever (one of my least favorite, more like), so I'm glad that you think I wrote it alright.
Wow. Amazing story. I can't believe either you didn't tell me about it. I saw it in the recently added stories and I almost died when I saw your name there!
Awesome story. I enjoyed every bit of your writing. I liked Harry's characterization, and Ginny's too.
I felt in DH Ginny had been majorly sidelined. I neither expected nor liked that. I like how you've brought her back to 'normal' with your fic.
It was wonderful to see how you captures a year in Harry's life in one sinle fic. I loved the way you divided this chapter according to the seasons.
The writing style is impeccable (as usual).
And Fragmentary Blue is a lovely poem, isn't it?
Author's Response: Aw, thank you! Well, I didn't tell you because I sort of wrote it overnight and submitted it the next. It wasn't something I'd been planning out.
I do love writing Harry, more and more as time goes on. I think he has a lot of underdeveloped potential and I might try my hand at writing a novel-length Harry fic one day. He would be fun. ;)
Yeh, I never really liked Ginny at any point in canon, nor did I like how H/G was portrayed. It seemed a very shallow, underdeveloped relationship to me, unlike R/Hr, which got better and better as canon went on.
I do love Fragmentary Blue. I love Frost in general. His poems are brilliant, so complex and multi-layered. They're always these little riddles with amazing conceits. He's a bit like Donne, I think, almost metaphysical but more accessible. I really have to think when I read him, but if I think hard enough I get him.
Thanks again, your review means a lot. When do I get to read a story of yours? ;)