Really sad:(. But really well written.
Killing off Teddy wasn't an easy thing to do. I'd already decided on this in my head canon ages ago, but it took me almost a year to muster up the nerve to write it. Poor, poor Teddy. D:
Thanks for the read and review!
Okay, it was well written, but seriously? Harry would never do that! It's totally not in his character to be like that; it's more of a Sirius thing.
Author's Response: You are perfectly entitled to feel that way, as I am allowed to believe otherwise. Harry has a long history of ignoring his personal safety, so it isn't a stretch to think he would ignore a death threat. Were the threat against anyone else, he would be all over it. Just my educated opinion, but you are more than welcome to disagree. ~Jess
Ahhh. So sad. Teddy had to die.
I know. :/ The thing is, while I was writing Vindication of James Potter, I determined right away that Teddy was going to die, but it took me almost a year to work up the courage to actually do it. I still feel bad about it, and a certain friend of mine can't bear to bring up the story because it makes her so sad.
Anyway, thanks for dropping in!
This story was amazing. It brought tears to my eyes; the emotions were raw and powerful, and it was just... breath-taking.
I'm glad you appreciated, as the word 'enjoy' seems rather inappropriate. It was a hard thing to write, but it was always a story I had planned to tell. Poor Teddy. :/
I did. I still am wiping those tears. This was painful, to say the least. Was beautifully written, just I couldn't imagine poor Teddy dying like that. Still crying, and now I feel silly. But again, very well brought out.
*runs away to hide and cry some more*
This is one of those kinds of stories that one doesn't really enjoy, as it does have the saddest of endings. However, I am glad that it was able to elicit the reaction I was going for. If anyone on the planet deserved not to die, it was Teddy, and if anyone deserved not to lose anyone else, it was Harry. I felt bad writing it, but it was always what I had planned in my brain universe for the post-Hogwarts and next generation timeline.
Anyway, thanks for reviewing. :)
It’s SPEW-in time. When scrolling down your author page trying to figure out which one to pick, this one caught my eye. Though I don’t generally read Post-Hogwarts, Teddy’s story has always touched me. Though I personally felt that JKR’s killing of Lupin and Tonks was unfair, it’s really poetic how it parallel’s Harry’s own story.
In order to add some semblance of coherence to this review, I’m going to comment on different aspects of the fic separately rather than rambling on about my thoughts.
First, I’ll tackle the plot. I thought you did a great job introducing the story. I love the opening anecdote; it perfectly illustrated Harry’s mixed feelings towards Teddy. All in all, I thought that Harry’s feelings of uncertainty and the desire to become a father to Teddy were communicated very well. It was very straightforward, but with a touch of heart to it. I thought that you covered Teddy’s childhood nicely. However, I was a little disappointed that it seemed to be more expositional than anecdotal. While the writing is very clean and there’s definitely heart in it, I would have preferred to have actually seen the interactions between Teddy and Harry. I hope this makes sense, but what I’m trying to say is that you seem to tell us that Teddy and Harry bonded more than show us. I am glad that you gave us a full interaction between Harry and Teddy in the Auror offices. I thought that it was very well done and poignant. I thought you did a great job with consistency, as you always reminded us of Harry’s conflicted feelings.
Continuing to comment on plot, I did grow a bit bored of the descriptions of Teddy’s growing up. I was a put off by the lack of action. However, I’m really glad that you added the murder plot. It kicked the story up a notch and brought my attention back fully.
Honestly, I was not expecting the story to end the way it did. It was quite sad and touching, but I’m not sure if I’m personally satisfied with it. I understand the point you were trying to make, but it’s hard to not feel a little cheated. His death felt unfair, just the like death of his parents felt unfair in the books. But that’s how it is whenever a beloved character dies.
Also, while I liked the addition of the murder plot I was a bit disappointed with the perpetrators. I understand that this isn’t a mystery plot and it’s definitely not a story about Yaxley and Rowle, but I was expecting something a bit more exciting than vengeful Death Eaters. However, this is a pretty small complaint in the general scheme of things as the murders were simply a device in the story.
On other note, I thought that the addition of Malfoy was interesting too. I’m a little confused as to why you chose to put him in this story, but I can’t say I’m sorry you did. I’ve come to like Malfoy a lot more after the seventh book, and I liked that you portrayed him as that “shades of gray” character. He wasn’t suddenly all touchy and sympathetic, but he was respectful of Harry’s grief.
Alright, now I’ll tackle characterization. I thought the characterization was nearly flawless. Harry was perfect. I’m glad you kept bringing up his desire to father Teddy and his guilt for not being able to be there all the time, plus the added guilt of feeling responsibility for Tonks and Lupin’s death. Harry did feel older and more mature, but he was still Harry. And he wasn’t ridiculously mature either, which was nice.
I also liked Andromeda’s characterization. I thought she came off exactly as she did in the books; she was no nonsense, not exactly pleased with Harry, but basically a good person. I like that she didn’t fall all over Harry for trying to be a father to Teddy. He did make some mistakes, and she didn’t let it go.
Finally, it’s time for Teddy’s characterization. He was appropriately courageous and virtuous. He loved and appreciated Harry despite not being able to spend time with him. He’s a great person. However, I think that he might have been a little too great. I understand that the point of this story is to evoke sympathy for his death, which you did, but I was a little bothered by the fact that Teddy seemed too perfect. He’s a great Auror, brave, and doesn’t harbor any ill-thoughts. I wish he would have been a bit more rounded.
Alright, writing style. Like I said, your writing is virtually perfect. It was pretty flawless, completely concise and lacking in grammatical errors. That being said, I think I would have liked it too be a little more messy, if you know what I mean. I think that would have made the piece more emotional. I’m sorry if that doesn’t make any sense, by the way. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what it means too!
Overall, this was a sweet and touching story. I hope you don’t think I didn’t enjoy it from my comments, but I truly did. Your writing is always in character and always flawless. I just thought this kind of review would be more helpful than “Oh my God, your writing is so good!” over and over again. Am I a good SPEW-er, O Great Queen?
I've been contemplating a response for this review, despite the appearance that I either forgot to or didn't care to respond. Honestly, though... I wasn't really sure what I should say other than you're pretty much right about a lot of it.
In terms of characterisation, I get what you mean by Teddy being too good, but he was meant to be a tragedy. While this story does feature shifting points of view, the entire story is coloured by Harry's POV. So, the audience is meant to see Teddy as Harry sees him — as a shining human being and the last person in the world deserving to die.
In my head, this whole thing is almost like Harry watching events in a pensieve, and we are watching his reactions to it. It was meant to be grafted with an air of melancholy as some of the pivotal interactions between them occur. While they might seem 'boring', they're meant to instill an air of foreboding, both in terms of the father/son relationship not turning out right and for Teddy's fate as a whole.
The murder plot is... yeah. It is what it is, which you pointed out, and that's a plot device. Not one of my shining moments, but the story would've been dull and fluffy without an element of danger. I want to change it, to give the plot a bit more plausibility, but to be honest, I'm not sure how I could do that and make it work. I'll take a look at it, though, and see what I can come up with.
Thanks for the insightful review. :)
Holy crap. That was so sad at the end. I think that the emotion from Teddy...excuse me, Ted...and from Harry was spot on, and if it wasn't such a perfect ending to this story, I'd be a little upset that I can't read more about these two and see how this Ted grows up. Really well done.
Aww, I'm glad I didn't give you a really awful sad face. Some people get ranty with me for killing Teddy, but it just occurred to me while I was writing Vindication of James Potter that this was the ending I'd always had planned for him. It was Harry's sort of trial run at being a dad, and he failed. He'd never really had a good example before, so he learned the very very hard way what not to do.
I'm glad you could appreciate the story, and thank you for reviewing. :)
I cried the whole time. Great writing, but why did you kill Teddy?
I know it seems awful of me to kill Teddy, which is why it took me nearly a year after the concept entered my brain for me to actually be able to write it down. While I was writing my chaptered fic The Vindication of James Potter, I was going to put Teddy in as one of the characters, but I stopped halfway through his name and suddenly felt really sick to my stomach, like he should've been there but never would be. Then this whole story came rushing into my head, and I almost cried thinking about it, it was so awful. I finally came to terms with it and wrote it, though I do completely get the heartbreaking aspects of it.
Thanks for reading and listening to me ramble, lol.
It’s slightly overdue, but I didn’t forget, so here is your SPEW buddy review! I remember you mentioning to me that in your next-gen verse, Teddy has a back story, so when I saw this I thought it would be quite interesting to see what it was. The warnings kind of gave away the ending, but it was a heart-wrenching fic all the same. The way you wrote the beginning was really sad as you watch Teddy grow and at the same time grow apart from Harry.
I felt it was very realistic how it’s because of his own children that Harry doesn’t have as much time to see Teddy. Even though in the beginning Harry is utterly determined to be like a father to Teddy, it’s only natural that when he really became a father it would be a much more monumental event. Plus it’s very in character for Harry to be so forgetful of other’s feelings, as well-meaning as he is. The guiltiness he shows towards Andromeda and when Teddy becomes and Auror is also just so Harry—I think you’ve done really well in characterising him just like he is written in the books, but at the same time he has a certain wise air about him that would have developed as he aged.
Teddy’s character is fantastic as well. The faith he has in his godfather even when Harry isn’t living up to his role as godfather is very sweet and childlike—I am slightly surprised he didn’t grow up and get angry at Harry for not being around very much like his grandmother does, but like Harry said, Teddy is very much like his father. I do wish he had a little more of Tonks’ spark, but he’s a great character all the same. He even seems to have a few Harry-ish qualities, like when he just leaves a note and runs off to be the brave one, although I do wonder if that was more just a plot device than purposeful character trait. ;) I think you’ve done a brilliant job of shaping Teddy’s character so that he’s well-rounded and original.
Also, I really liked the one line about Andromeda and how she had nothing good to say about Harry anymore. Even though she’s only a minor character in the books, she’s tough and fierce and you can see how she is Bella and Narcissa’s sister. You really captured just how much she loves her family in that line—she would be extremely angry at Harry for not visiting his godson.
The death threat for Harry really threw me off, since I had been so sure that it would be Teddy who would die. And even though I was still sure that I knew what would happen, you got me worried all the same. Harry’s carefree attitude towards the threat frustrated me to no end, even though it’s just so very typical of Harry to brush it off like it’s nothing. If it had been a death threat for anyone else (like you briefly touched upon with Kingsley) he would have immediately panicked.
I know it’s a very common plot device to use in next-gen fics, but I’m wondering if the return of Death Eaters to kill Harry/his family when he’s older is starting to become slightly cliché. I think you used this idea really well in VoJP, but in this fic it feels kind of overused, especially since I assume this is supposed to be along the same storyline as most of your other next-gen fics. I feel like after the war, the Death Eaters would try and blend in quietly rather than secretly plot to finish Voldemort’s work, especially since I had always thought most of the Death Eaters were motivated by fear rather than a longing to rid the world of Harry Potter and Muggle-borns. Just something to think about.
Draco’s appearance towards the end was rather bittersweet, especially since the spell that killed Teddy was the same one Harry nearly killed Draco with. On that note, props to you for not using Avada Kedavra—like what I was saying before, I don’t believe Yaxley and Rowle would have nearly that much hatred for Harry anymore. But I like how you didn’t make Draco all friendly towards Harry—it felt much more realistic this way. Also, his line made me laugh. ;)
I feel like this fic ended a little too suddenly. You jumped so quickly from Teddy’s drawn-out (in a good way) death to the rest of the night being a ‘whirlwind of activity’, and it doesn’t end with the closure I think you need in a fic like this, especially since the last few paragraphs are about Ginny. This isn’t a very helpful point to make since I don’t have any ideas on how you could have ended it better, but I thought I would mention it.
This was a really touching fic. It’s not very often you read fics that are so centric on familial relationships, and this was a really great one because it makes sense for Harry and Teddy to drift apart as they both grow older. I’m pleased it ended with them close again and not some angst-ridden Harry who never made it up to Teddy, too. Thanks for the fantastic read!
Author's Response: Next-Gen cliches are what they are, I suppose. In a way, this fic was my answer to the one that annoys me the greatest, and that's the idea that Harry was some sort of superdad. Yes, he will fight and die for those he loves, but he isn't one to consider ramifications. He'd always had Hermione for that. In retrospect, I probably could have and should have invented a new character to try and kill Harry, such as someone whose life he had turned upside down, sort of like what happened to Nick Barnaby in VoJP. I could probably do that right now, and it would have little or no effect on the story at all. Actually, now, I really want to, hehe. What I meant in terms of the bonds formed in this fic between Harry and Teddy is that Harry really did love Teddy, and he never forgot him. He just procrastinated his way through Teddy's childhood, which he really did try to make up for by opening his door to Teddy once Auror training started (which also sews up the supposed plothole pointed out by a few readers of him coming over all the time during the Epilogue). He's not a bad bloke, and growing up in a household that held a permanent air of despair, Teddy knew that, and he could never have held it against Harry for being too busy. He turned out to be a good person because he wanted to be like Harry, but in the end, he was like his godfather too much. He fell in love with a redhead. He chose a dangerous profession. He tried to be a hero and it got him killed. Lovely review, my dear. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, even though I used Death Eaters as a plot device. :D ~Jess
What?! Harry was supposed to die! I prepared myself this entire story, after reading the "Character Death" tag, and Harry doesn't even die?
This story was so, so sad, but amazingly sweet. It sort of reminds me of this one song about this father who works all the time and doesn't have any time for his kid and then the kid wants to become just like him and when he grows up he has no time for his father (I'm paraphrasing ^.^). I forget what it's called, though. Anyways, back to the actual story--I liked it a lot. I love Harry and Teddy's relationship, and how Harry never felt like he was enough. I think you characterized that part well, because although Teddy may have been over at the Potters' four times a week, Harry might not have been spending "quality" time with him there.
The ending completely surprised me, as I think I mentioned in the beginning. I have never wanted Harry to die as much as I did then, which is saying a *lot*. You managed to make Teddy a wonderful, lovable character. Harry phrases it perfectly when he comments on how alike Teddy is to Remus.
This *was* going to be a SPEW review for next month (nothing like getting ahead...or planning to, anyways) but I don't really have any crit, and I don't want to submit a gushing review in case it gets nixed :)
Hi there. :D
It was my intention for badness to occur in this fic. From my Next-Gen POV, Teddy was always going to die like this. Do I think Harry's had enough loss in his life? Of course, but he's also one of those people who walks a line laced with destiny. His fate was always a cruel one, but in a way, his past helped him deal with this tragedy. Sure his mum took an AK for him, but he was a baby. He'd never had it happen when he should have been ready but let his guard down. It had never been his fault before. I think most people are scared to make Harry do wrong and stupid things, but it really is in his nature to do so.
I wanted Teddy to know that, even though he got lost in the jumble of life sometimes, Harry really did love him like a son. That relationship was always going to be there. Even with his dying breath, he never resented the missed Quidditch matches or asking for advice with girls or whatever. Harry wasn't great, but he was enough to help Teddy know how to be a man. Though we wish Harry had been amazing, it doesn't always turn out that way.
It's ironic that you mentioned that song (Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin), because it's exactly what inspired me to write this story. I was listening to it on my iPod on my way to work, and I was thinking about VoJP, as I had just got a review for it that morning. The reviewer off-hand mentioned Teddy, and it made me realise why I had previously chosen not to add Teddy to the story. Because he was dead.
Anyway, enough of my ramble. I'm glad you stopped in, even if I thwarted your play to get ahead of the game. It's much appreciated.
In the epilogue it says that Tebby would have dinner with the Potter's 4 times a week. I don't remember which web site but its say Harry had a good relationship with Teddy. He also got along with lily pretty well.
I know what the epilogue says. You may also notice that, when Teddy enters the Auror academy, he's 18. Harry realised that he had made a lot of mistakes and that is when Teddy started coming over all the time, as portrayed when Harry told him to come over as often as he liked. And I didn't say anywhere that they had a bad relationship, just that it didn't play out the way either of them would have liked. Harry felt like he had done badly, but when they were together, it had always been good.
I'm guessing you didn't like the story, considering you haven't really had anything nice to say about it thus far. I really hope that's not the case, because to date, this is one of my more well-received and well-written pieces. I do want that you got some nugget of enjoyment out of it.
You made a mistake, you said that teddy just turned ten or he was ten how can he be Hogwarts if he's ten.
Author's Response: It wasn't a mistake. Teddy was ten and almost eleven, hence nearly ready to start Hogwarts.
Really nice story, Jess! First of all, it's a great title. You *are* good at titles, that's for sure. Second of all, it felt plausible that this would happen to Harry and Teddy, especially once Harry had children of his own. Do I want it to play out that way or do I think it will should JKR ever extend her canon? No and probably not, but you made it believable and sad. And I think what really made it sadder was that Teddy was so accepting about it, he still loved Harry and loved every minute he had to spend with his godfather, no matter what. This also makes sense, because it just seems like something the son of Remus Lupin would do: continue to love unconditionally. On the other hand, he wasn't raised by Remus and Tonks, so you could have also taken him the other direction and made him bitter and resentful, like his grandmother. But I like this Teddy.
The build-up to the climax at the party was well-done, as was the party itself. I thought Harry's reaction to the threat seemed appropriate, and Teddy's reaction to Harry's kidnapping was brilliant. What a great Auror he would have made.
I was confused by this paragraph:
Rowle wrapped an arm around Harry’s throat and began to squeeze. Harry’s face began to turn a reddish-purple colour and his eyes would not stay open. He had to act quickly. In one smooth motion, he whipped out his wand and cried, “Diffindo!”
I just had to read it several times to know whether it was Teddy or Harry who used the Severing Charm. I know that was Teddy's section, his POV, but since he was not mentioned in that paragraph, the pronoun is not clear. 'Teddy had to act quickly" might clear that up for dunderheads like me. How's that for a nitpick?
Now, I have a few questions. Why does Harry feel sick when he sees Teddy fall? Why not anger or shock or anything like that? Just curious about how you chose to frame that entire paragraph. Also, did you consider having Harry use a stronger spell than 'Stupefy'? I could see that happening.
Teddy's death was very sad, and yet…touching. I don't know how to describe it, but it seemed right, somehow. He's an Auror and he gave his life to save someone. It's tragic irony that it was Harry, and that's what twists the sadness into something more. Harry's reaction was gutwrenching. *sniff*
Another question: why did you include Draco at the end? Was he in on it? I apologize for not being up on your personal Potterverse history, lol. I got the impression he might be in on it. If not, I'm not sure why he was there, if only to wrench it a bit more for Harry.
The end was so subtle, so quiet. And that was perfect after what just happened. I can't see you ending this with Harry sobbing in Ginny's arms or something melodramatic like that. You chose the perfect way to end it.
If I were to offer any concrit, it would only be to watch the tone. A few times it fell into a bit too familiar vernacular with a 'yeah' or a 'sure' which seemed more suited to dialogue than narrative. Watch me use both in my next story and get hexed for it, but it's something to think about in terms of evenness and flow and how you want to present the voice of the story.
There you have it. As always, I enjoyed reading your work. Great idea, great writing, and some lovely angst. Kudos, twin! Keep it up! ~Gina a86;
As I have re-read your review and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the lovely praise, I'll just skip to the questions you had for the sake of brevity.
I will go back and edit the part with Harry and Teddy and the ambiguous use of 'he'. After re-reading that in a non-associated fashion, it does seem a bit confusing.
Harry felt sick because he blamed himself for Teddy being dead. He didn't take the death threat seriously and wasn't prepared for the attack. On a normal day, he would have escaped rather handily, but because he was only humouring Teddy and staving off boredom, he was captured. If I knew someone had died because I had not done my best, especially if it had been someone I loved, I'd feel sick, too.
I used 'stupefy' because I don't think Harry was angry enough to try an Unforgivable. I'm sure if he could have Crucioed himself, he would have, but he was in too much shock and disgusted with himself to do anything more than a reflex, rudimentary defense spell.
Draco's appearance is something of an implied presence. He was at the fundraiser thing because he's part of the upper fcrust of society, plus he has money. Why he went outside is a different matter. To me, he noticed the presence of the former Death Eater (Yaxley was the unkempt waiter) and knew something was afoot. He then noticed Teddy talking to Harry and looking distraught. When the lights went out and then the powder was gone, Draco noticed that Harry was missing and Teddy looked frantic. That's when Draco went outside, as well, where he basically saw the tail end of what had happened. He offered to help Harry because he did owe Harry that much, not only as a father himself, but since Harry had kept him out of prison and all. I thought, for Malfoy, he was acutally quite sweet.
As for the tone, I sort of wanted it to be a mix of streaming thought and narration. I wanted the narration to be reflective of the character himself, not just a stolid third party. That didn't fit for what I wanted.
I'm glad you liked the ending. This is, coincidentally, what I have planned as teh beginning of the end for Harry and Ginny. For I am ebil.
Lovely review, dear. I hope I can (finally) get around to stalking your review page soon. :D
Damn you, Jess! *wipes tears away* What is wrong with you? What is wrong with the world?
This was such a heartbreaking story, and really, I should have expected nothing less from you, you evil woman. But so well-written and engaging, so poignant and wonderful.
Oh well, what else is there to say. Brilliant!
Thank you, dear. I'm glad you appreciated it. 'Enjoy' probably wouldn't be the right word for that.
I've been asked why I never write about Teddy Lupin. I've always had this in my head as what happened, so I really didn't watn to put this into words. :*( Too sad.
Anyway, it's nice to chat, even if through review (ebil work). Heart heart heart and take care. :D
I think this story is very evocative. It brings out raw emotions, and for that I love the story. The scene of Teddy's death was very well written. I can totally feel Harry's pain.
That said, I think that the scene where Harry got caught was a little weird, since he is the Head Auror. It seems like he barely fought back at all =/ The two were bumbling idiots if they believed Teddy's lie so easily. (Teddy's disguise was an awesome touch, btw, love it.) Even if he does get death threats frequently, he should be slightly more on his feet, no?
Maybe this is because I didn't really read your other stories... but why didn't Harry suspect Draco (as the mastermind) when they met?
Awesome story nonetheless. The emotions were as raw as open wounds, perfect for this! I'll hopefully find time to check out your other stories, you are a good author =)
Thank you, and I'm glad you appreciate the emotions of the story. It was meant to be a commentary on putting important things off and that we should live for now, because who knows when someone is going to pop out of the shadows and take everything away.
Harry got caught because he was meant to be caught. He wasn't taking this threat seriously, and under the cover of the darkness powder, he couldn't have any idea whether he was attacking his assailant or a hapless victim. Plus, they clobbered him over the head. That tends to make capture victims a bit more acquiescent. The reason why Teddy's disguise works so well is that I could imagine him wanting to be like Harry so much that he had experimented with his abilities as a youth to actually turn into Harry's double.
Harry didn't suspect Draco because Draco has no reason to attack him. It was Harry who kept him and Narcissa out of Azkaban. It would not be in his best interest to distress that goodwill by trying to kill the Head Auror. If he had been caught, that would have ended very bad for him. Very bad.
I'm really glad that the need for inference worked for the bits between scenes. Of course, I couldn't make a written history of all Harry and Teddy's time together or lack thereof. For the most part, it's not hard to figure out where each piece went and the next picked up.
Thank you so much for your review. Have a great night!
Tears loads and loads of tears..........
I know. It was harder to write than it was to read, I assure you.
I was asked by Teddy was never in VoJP. I glossed over the question, because it was always going to be like this. I know one can't say that they enjoy a story like this, but I do hope you can appreciate it.
Thanks for your review and have a lovely night,
Hey Jess ~
By the end of this I may or may not feel terrible. Just so you know, I'm also for some reason doing it half-heartedly, the concrit, that is, because reading your surrounding notes and a general idea from the story itself gave me the impression that you had to get this out sometime. And its not really about the idea or the plot. More of how some finer points turned out.
She was completely right. It had been nearly six months since he had seen his godson, which was absolutely shameful, but being the Head Auror was not conducive to light schedules. As I was reading this, I was really trying to relate it with real life experiences, and you mention also something similar in a review response of yours, that time passes and we hardly notice its passage. I also find it interesting, that half the time that time is racing by, you don't feel it. Only at the end of it, something happens and you feel and try to remember something of the past, and often there is a blank there and other times guilt. It is understandable to me that Harry would not see Teddy for such long periods of time at a time. But like Carole (I believe) said knowing Harry it feels a little less convincing. But I wrote a story about him smoking. Hmm, well, it seems to work either way. Gee. Another thing though, unless Harry in your story becomes the Head Auror in matter of several years only, like if he is 25 or 28, then Andromeda's request of Harry to sit Teddy seems relativey more plausible. I can guess why it is that she wants Harry to hang around with Teddy but maybe its just me, because if she knows that Harry is Head Auror, it makes so little sense, the directness of what Andromeda is asking Harry. Consider a situation where Harry is enjoying a weekend off with his family and then Andromeda may say, can you have Teddy come along as well. Or just somehow it seems more appropriate that she'd expect his family, Ginny in part, to participate as Teddy's caretaker.
But then, James had been born and everything had changed. I found your take interesting. In my mind and in the draft of a semi-done one-shot that I imagined from James' POV was something along the lines of him thinking, that dad had always given Teddy more importance. Maybe that James would be bitter that he'd always had to compete with Teddy for Harry's attention.
The part where Harry sees Teddy in his office. This is where my excitement was really switched off. I read it twice. And I just cannot find Harry's voice there. May be it is because the scene is awfully brief. I couldn't see Harry saying like he did 'this is inexcusable'. He might react like that. But the words didn't seem to be his.
Everyone turned out for these events, and Harry was always expected to be there as an honoured guest. If there is a biggie in something, can there also be a smallie. Well, this is a smallie, or a minor thing, really. But being an honoured guest, every year? I can imagine this to be different from a guest of honour. Er. Guest of honour, Honoured guest. Hmm. This is basically a simple explanation of Harry attending the Gala. Because he's famous. Because once upon a time he saved the wizarding world. But I thought that being a senior Ministry member would be reason enough to attend the Gala every year.
I realised towards the ending that a lot of the time you were 'telling' what was happening rather than showing, which is the reason that for me, the emotions of the characters just seemed to skim the surface.
On the contrary, one line at which I died was it was sick and unnatural for someone to outlive their own child. I thought it was a brillant idea to connect this to Molly's pain on Fred's death. I also agree with Hannah about conscious/unconscious link of the title and of the general metaphor of the story with Marvell's poem. When I think of it that way, it does make me sad. Hm.
I hope something in here makes sense.
Author's Response: Hello there, Akay. I’ll try to address some of the issues you brought up, and I’m even doing this in Word so I don’t lose track.
According to canon, Harry became the head of the Auror Department in 2005, which is the probable year that James was born. This part was also when Harry’s relationship with Teddy hit the skids. Teddy would have been seven at the time, which is nestled between the part where Harry visits and brings sweets and the part where Andromeda tries to guilt Harry into spending time with him. That was really what that was about. Andromeda realises that Harry is busy, but accepting the role of godfather, even if he had done it on a whim and practically as a child himself, comes with the responsibility to carry through with it. I mentioned later in the story that Andromeda isn’t too happy with Harry, and this is the start of it. And as for why Harry doesn’t ask Ginny to help is because he completely fails at asking for help when he needs it. It’s part of his personality flaws, and it’s got him into trouble quite a few times.
The scene in Harry’s office is a tricky one. I know that it doesn’t sound uniquely Harry, but he’s in a situation that he doesn’t know how to deal with. He has just realised that he barely knows Teddy. He doesn’t know how to talk to an adult son. He’s never really had the opportunity to grow into the role. It’s not his voice because he isn’t sure what voice he should use. On one hand, Teddy is now his subordinate, but he’s also his godson and a part of his family. I would hope that he is given some leeway for being a bit mixed-up.
The gala does seem to be a bit of a McGuffin (thank you to Inverarity for the lovely term). But in the Epilogue, it was specifically stated that everyone was either staring or stealing glances at the Trio’s party, even though the kids didn’t understand it. That says to me that they carry a huge celebrity status for their role in defeating Voldemort, most especially Harry. I think that would make him an honoured guest at any party, even without his high social standing as basically the protector of all the country.
And about telling rather than showing…yeah, I suppose I did that. But one must understand that writing something like this isn’t like reading it. Trying to write happy bits when you know how it’s going to end almost makes you sick to your stomach. I didn’t enjoy writing this story at all, but it’s one that I felt I needed to tell. It made my beta tear up and left some readers outraged that I could spin such a tale of heartbreak, loss, and general unfairness. It wasn’t comfortable at all writing it, so diving headlong into the deep emotion that lay beneath the surface might have kept me from writing it at all. I’m not so sure I could have even done that. So, in a way, telling the story rather than walking in their shoes is sort of a safety gap for both myself and the readers. I’m not out to ruin anyone’s day or anything. I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree on that front.
You mentioned the line about outliving one’s own child. To me, Harry finally finished growing up at this moment. He stopped wondering how to be a dad and how to find the time by making the time. He finally realised that living in the present is all he had, because who the hell knows when fate or chance or some evil force is going to come and take it all away. This, coincidentally, is also the start of the end of Harry and Ginny’s marriage as I had written in Vindication of James Potter. If I were her, I would have knocked him clean out for not taking a death threat seriously.
Well, anywho, I hope my viewpoint on the matters you brought up answers some questions about the parts that you found to be a bit anomalous. I’m not trying to convince you that my POV is right or that I disagree; it’s just ‘this is what I was going for’. I hope these bits don’t detract from what you did appreciate about the story.
Take care and thanks for your visit,
It should be a requirement that you submit to my categories so I don't miss things like this when they go through the queue. ;)
First off, I loved the pacing of the story. You managed to span a lot time without it seeming jumpy, and you gave your readers a great idea of what Teddy (I can't call him Ted, either, haha) was like. I know we don't see much of him in canon, but it just seemed so fitting that he'd never resent Harry for not always being around.
Let's see. I could go on and on. I thought Harry was spot-on and that using Draco was perfect. That Teddy acted as a double was a clever plot twist, even if it ended up being a tragic one. I'm such a sucker for great last lines, and I think this one fits wonderfully.
So, if you couldn't tell, I thought this was marvelous. :)
Why thank you, dear. What a lovely thing to wake up to (and yes, I really did wake up at 2pm, because I'm cool like that). :D
For me at least, Teddy always looked at Harry as his dad. Yes, he acknowledged that Remus was his father and he loved hearing about him from Harry, but in my opinion, dads are the ones who show us the way to be. Though he was rather absent at times, when he was there, Harry was good for his godson and Teddy was good for him.
It was a complete bummer killing off a beloved character, but I remember a bunch of reviewers for Vindication of James Potter asking why Teddy wasn't involved in the big plot. I almost didn't have the heart to tell them that this is what I had pictured for him. I think (I really ought to know this for sure, but it's been almost a year) I mentioned him once when Ginny threw Harry's faults in his face, but that was it.
Anyway, that's probably more than you cared to read about my rambliness. Your review was lovely, and you shall see me soon once I exorcise my Katie/Oliver phase from my system.
Noooooo. What's happening here? Emma outs him, you kill him. Poor Teddy! Jess, this is very interesting and such a great story. I do like Harry not being quite such a perfect family man. His guilt over neglecting Teddy is obvious, but he still never does a bloody thing about it - tsk tsk - slaps his wrist at that.
I liked all the action scenes and your DE's were suitably ebil. This is silly but my favourite bit was when he thought of Rowle as a 'lummox'. My dad used to use that word so I was giggling at that.
Mmm, nit pick - but not of the Brit kind - this is a canon pick. In the Epilogue (everyone groans) Harry mentions that Teddy comes round for dinner about four times a week, so I'm not sure they would have been so estranged. Although you could say the relationship had vastly improved in the past few years so that could account for the frequency of his visits. Perhaps you did and I'm not reading properly (excuse me, it must be catching *snort*)
I always enjoy reading your portrayal of canon characters, especially the ones we know so little about, because you always present them ion a fresh way.
Hmm, so you're not throwing things at me for killing of baby Teddy. I feel a bit safer now, lol.
I wanted this to be sort of a moral story that teaches us to live in the now, because who the hell knows what tomorrow will bring. I was sort of inspired by the song Cats in the Cradle by I believe Harry Chapin. Harry keeps getting disctracted until he realises that he's missed so many of Teddy's most important years. He does improve, however. When Harry summons Teddy to his office and asks him to come over for dinner that night and as much as he likes, that was the start of the repairing of the relationship. That's when Teddy was 'over four nights a week' and found time to meet/fall for Victoire.
Oh, and do be careful about reading properly. Some of that, er, literary, 'it makes me think' might get on you. I hear it burns like a mofo.
Lovely review, and I thank you for your glowing words. *hugs*
~Jess (who is going back to writing her Katie/Oliver smut)
You really had me hooked in this fic! My favourite parts were the opening bits where you explored character and showed the small things that Harry had missed out on in Teddy's life etc. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting the ending but it fitted in well with how you set it up.
Somehow the last bit of writing didn't quite work for me. I liked the bit with Draco, but the next three paragraphs seemed a little excessive. Perhaps you could have written that shorter and still finished with "But not just then...". But that's just a personal opinion.
I also would have liked to have known a little more about how Teddy managed to find Harry, but maybe that wouldn't have worked because after his death it seems kind of insignificant... so I'm not sure about whether that would have worked or not.
I think the best thing was your characters, who you created very believably and explored nicely. Well done!
Ah, I see you've got past the righteous anger bit where you want to strangle me for killing off poor ickle Teddy. :D
What I really wanted was to paint a picture of Teddy that showed him trying to figure out how to be a man whilst Harry simultaneously struggled with being a father figure. Perhaps Teddy would have been better off not wanting to be like Harry, but most children love their dads despite their flaws. I seem to be in teh minority of people who consider Harry one of the more flawed characters in the Potterverse. He is brave and all that, but he makes poor judgment calls and judges people constantly. But Teddy doesn't learn these things because Harry isn't around as much. Instead, he falls in love with the ideal Harry that everyone talks about -- the saviour.
How Teddy found Harry? I just sort of glossed over it because I figured it would be more of a given. Knowing that anyone wanting to abduct Harry would be a friggin idiot to stay in the building, the next logical step would have been to look outside, where he saw Harry, Yaxley,and Rowle in the distance, also allowing him time to formulate his plan.
And the last bit...I know it all seems a bit wooden, but it was supposed to be. Harry was supposed to be in this trance-like shock where it really hasn't sunk in yet that his godson was dead and he was responsible (or at least he feels he is). He really had thought that he could go back to life after defeating Voldemort, and teh destruction of this illusion takes some time to process.
Also, there was an ulteriour motive to including Ginny. In my story The Vindication of James Potter, I sort of cannibalised Harry and Ginny's marriage, citing earlier examples of their problems. This was the start of that, when he told her what and who had got Teddy killed. Most of my readers from that story read my other ones as well, so I like to put in little nuggets to ring some bells for them so they can say, "Oh, now I get it."
Thanks for the review and reading my obnoxiously long response. Have a lovely day!