Reviews For D
Reviewer: Sly Severus
Date: 07/25/12 21:37
Chapter: Dear Harry

Oh, Harry. I love how dense he can be sometimes. I knew who D was when I read the first letter.

Anyway, Jess, this is brilliant. Dennis is such an underrated character. I’ve always thought of him as a smaller version of Colin. I never even gave much thought to how he’d be affected by the death of his brother. I love how you showed the effects this war had on characters who weren’t necessarily directly involved. When I think of post-war stories I always think of the characters that fought and saw people die and the guilt they live with. But this is just as valid. Losing a family member is always painful and considering the circumstances and the age of both brothers this is bound to be especially traumatic. Congrats on capturing something that could’ve been easily lost in the fandom.

I also love the way you handled Harry in this. He didn’t know what was going on. He didn’t know who was talking to him. And he honestly had his own problems. Yet someone was reaching out to him, and he didn’t bother to respond until it was too late. Makes me think that he’ll have even more guilt to deal with, which was very cruel of you, by the way.

Absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking story.

Author's Response:

Well, hello there!

I agree that Harry is dense in the things that matter, sometimes to the detriment of others. For example, his botched relationship with Cho, or ignoring the signs of Ron becoming disgruntled to the point of leaving in DH. Granted, the Horcrux necklace had a hand in that, but maybe if Harry hadn't acted like his problems were the only one in the universe, it might never have happened. But that's neither here nor there.

I can't blame Harry in this story, though. After the war in which he had lost so much, the idea of getting fanmail would just be sickening to him, I think, and that would, as I showed in the story, lead him to either not read them or put off reading them as long as he could get away with. Maybe, though, if he had stopped and thought about why people write fanmail in the first place, often to reach out to someone admired to feel a part of something, he might not have ignored his mounting pile. Granted, a number of the letters he got were probably fangirly, but in the depths of all of that lay a boy who was drowning in things he had no business dealing with alone. Harry was probably the wrong choice of saviour, ironically enough, but at that age, who is really expected to deal with all of the things Dennis had on his plate and keep their head above water? Yes, Harry could've helped, but so could a number of other people.

I do write a lot of battle fic and battle poetry, but I try to make sure that the rest have their story told, as well. What about Andromeda, who lost her husband, daughter, and son-in-law? Dennis lost his brother. Many people lost sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and a number of others are left to pick up the pieces of the world that Voldemort created in Year Seven. All of them have a story, and I'm glad I could make you consider some of them. :)

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and NOT reading some scary thing on the older half of my author page, lol. See you around!

~Jess

Reviewer: Animagirl112
Date: 06/03/12 17:05
Chapter: Dear Harry

This was so amazing! By the end of the story, when you have already figured out who D is but Harry hasn't, that little "Oh." seemed just perfect! That line 'I feel like I should know who you are' tied in greattly with the 'oh', I loved how it showed Harry realizing who D was and what had just happened to him. A teeny-tiny part of me needs to scold for giving Harry even more to worry about- I mean the kid has enough to worry about already! But seriously, the tone Dennis uses seems so.... true. I can sense the dissapointment he's feeling, love 'I thought you were different and that you would be more, well . . . friendly'. Dennis seeme kinf of.... not really sure how to put this, sad? angry? angsty? at first, and this makes him seem like some raging teenager. However, he really is so pure and filled with love. Even when Harry hasn't written to him for months Dennis still writes politely. Maybe he just needs someone to talk to, someone who might listen. All in all, it was very beautiful. I had tears in my eyes by the end and I can give no higher praise than that.

Author's Response:

This story is full of complicated emotions, both for me as a writer and for the reader. It's hard not to be frustrated at Harry because he's not answering, but at the same time, as you said, it's not fair to Harry, either. It's not his fault, but he was the only one who could've done anything. We as an audience figure it out quickly because we are become vested in the character, but Harry reads all of these letters in succession and just finally figures it out. He never was much of an observant bloke in canon. >.> Take his track record with girlfriends, lol.

The heartbreaking thing about Dennis, at least to me, is that his situation sucks. He knows it sucks, but doesn't know how to make it not suck. His optimism only gets him so far before he starts doing rash things like running away from school or trying to steal what he needs. He just wasn't equipped to handle such bad business on his own, but really, who is?

In the end, I think all Dennis really needed was to know that someone understood how he was feeling, someone who didn't dare tell him that the war had ended and everything was going to go back to normal. I always stopped reading post-Hogwarts fics when they end up spewing that sort of nonsense, because that's what it is. Nothing ever goes back to normal after events like that.

Anyway, I've rambled on enough. Thanks for the read and review. <3

~Jess

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 04/10/12 9:09
Chapter: Dear Harry

Wow. I read this before knowing the song, and then listened to the song, and you've got me thinking so much that I can't really concentrate on what I should be doing...

So little is written about Dennis in fanfiction, and I'm so glad you brought his story out... even if it has a horrible end in this version. There is just so much sheer desperation in his letters - I loved this part How do you do it? Sometimes, it feels like someone ripped something out of me and it hurts to just breathe. I’ll go to sleep and have normal dreams, but then I’ll wake up and want to tell him about them. And then I remember that I can’t. I don’t know how much longer I can live like this. Somehow I think it's a lot more effective that he doesn't have nightmares... just that he wants to share his dreams with Colin.

There's a lovely juxtaposition between Dennis' letters, where he feels like no-one cares, and the Daily Prophet articles, which first tell everyone to care for each other and later to help find Dennis. I think it's interesting that you mention survivor's guilt in one of the articles, because Dennis doesn't quite seem to be feeling that - as in that it's his fault Colin died, or that he could have prevented it in any way - but he still seems to feel his life isn't worth living anymore.

There is a strange (in a good way) amount of optimism in the letters, especially the first two, when Dennis really seems to engage with Harry's life and hope that Harry can help him and even believe that he will someday make it out of this mess, and I think that really shows Dennis - after all, few people are as optimistic and enthusiastic as Dennis and Colin (although I always thought Dennis may have been like this because of Colin and could easily swing the other way... anyway).

I loved this bit too - And Muggles truly do notice nothing. Every day, I’ve applied to jobs in various places and passed the same homeless bloke in the same alley several times per day, and no one has ever stopped to give him food or ask him if he was warm enough. I have done a couple times, and he looked at me like I was a nutter. I suppose I am at this point. - I think, as well as really showing us something about Dennis, it's a simple yet poignant comment on our society. I loved the way you used the line "muggles don't see anything" to refer to what we don't want to know about, rather than magic which we actually don't know about (if that makes sense?)

Could Harry have saved Dennis? I suppose so, and yet I find it hard to blame Harry entirely for it. He would have had so many letters from fans and probably would have seen his work as an Auror as far more important than reading and responding to all that... and at the same time, he would have hated even getting fan letters. I think that's the interesting thing in the song and this about celebrity - the fan letters aren't really for the sake of the celebrity, but for the fan. And as much as celebrities want to just be normal people (well at least Harry would), they aren't, and that is not what they represent to society. In Harry, Dennis sees someone almost superhuman, and yet someone he can also relate to, and also someone who connects him to Colin.

I loved the format - it's so much more effective than a straight narrative. The news articles really felt authentic - especially the Muggle one was very impersonal, while the Daily Prophet showed a society trying to recuperate.

The "Oh." at the end is just beautiful, even though as readers we already know what's going to happen, in that one word (well I guess it's not a word... sound then?) there's Harry's realisation and guilt and it works well. I liked the way you spaced it out as well.

There is so much I could say about this story, in my opinion it's one of your best (which is really saying something considering the qualibre of all your work).

~Katrina

Author's Response:

Wow, I’m really not good at responding to wonderful reviews. This one kind of asplodes my brain, I won’t lie. I am simply not equipped to handle your loveliness right now.

If I were to pick a fic to put amongst my best, I don’t think this one would’ve made the list or even the honourable mentions. But then, just about everything I write that I truly love ends up not on that list. I think why I put a lot into this story is because of the song. I remembered this song from when I was younger and remembered the haunting, obsessive quality of it. While I in no way thing Dennis is creepy, I think he needed something to obsess over in the state he was in, something all-consuming as he tried to deal with the loss of his brother, his own trauma, and essentially losing his father, as well. He was asked to be an adult before he was an adult, and it broke him. I wanted to mother him so badly. :/

The thing you mentioned about the dreams comes from personal experience. Nightmares are terrifying; waking up from one and not being able to put it out of your mind or, worse, distinguish it from reality is doubly so. I think Dennis found that being awake was worse than being asleep because he was smart enough to know that dreams ended and were not what one should be afraid of. What waited for him in real life was worse.

I do think that both Colin and Dennis were optimistic and exuberant. Just look at when Dennis ended up in the lake on his first day. He just stuck his arms up in the air like he’d just done something badass, rather than feel embarrassed. His actions in canon just suggest someone who is positive. And he was for a while. Then reality came and swatted it right out of him, and no one was there to brush him off and put him back in the right direction. I don’t know if Harry could’ve done that with a miracle, let alone a letter, but no one did anything at all. And that is just sad.

I did go a bit activist in this with both the gun and the mention of the homeless man and even Dennis himself. It just shows that we are all so wrapped up in our own problems that we unconsciously (or even consciously) write off others’ problems as not as important. Sure, we could go to a restaurant, eat too much, and take home the leftovers for breakfast. We could pass someone sleeping in a cardboard box and not once thing to offer them that extra food that we probably don’t need or could easily replace. It just doesn’t click in our heads. But Dennis, as someone who is suffering, albeit in a different way than that homeless man (or maybe not so different), sees it and all the hypocrisy surrounding it. It squelches his hopes and his general opinion on humanity more effectively than losing his brother, perhaps. And the most dangerous thing that we as a society can do is stop caring. It’s already happening in the world today, and in truly revolting ways. It might have even given Dennis the urge to take what he needed to survive rather than hope that human decency would afford it to him, because he didn’t see any of that decency.

Harry in this is deceptively complicated. I agree that he can’t be blamed for Dennis’s death. It is unreasonable to ask more of Harry than he has already given. He did die, after all, even if he did come back. But whose fault is it? The shop owner for owning a gun to protect his livelihood? The people who didn’t give Dennis the job he needed to make it? The people who were meant to look after him, only for him to appear fine outwardly? His teachers for not noticing he was hurting? His father for not being stronger after losing Colin? These are hard to affix with blame, because while none of them were singularly responsible, all of them were partially responsible. It’s undeniable that Colin died because of Voldemort, but who killed Dennis Creevey? Everyone, and no one. Could Harry have ‘saved’ Dennis? Perhaps, but if wishes were Horcruxes, then no one would ever die. :/

I don’t feel remorse for making Harry feel guilty in this. I think someone should feel guilty over what happened to Dennis, and as the one person Dennis had reached out to, the one who didn’t answer, Harry was as logical a choice as any. But it was important for people to know how Dennis died and why he died, even if ‘people’ is just Harry. Maybe a few people could put two and two together and work it out, but it would be my hope that Harry would let others know just how badly everyone had let down a boy who just needed a bit of guidance and someone to just be there for him.

Well, I’ve soap boxed for long enough. I’m so glad you picked up on some of the themes I sneakily planted in this. While I’m not sure this is one of my best, I think this is one of the more important things I’ve written in terms of social conscience. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy that you appreciated it. Thank you so much for your thoughtful review. ♥

~Jess

Reviewer: iwannabeanauror
Date: 02/03/12 0:23
Chapter: Dear Harry

This is unlike any story I have ever read. I enjoyed it and think your idea was brilliant.

Author's Response:

Hi, Caroline!

I'm glad you appreciated it. Thanks for the read/review!

~Jess

Reviewer: Ithinkrabis2people
Date: 01/30/12 14:54
Chapter: Dear Harry

Hi. I’ve really, really enjoyed this, particularly the style of it, which I suppose is going to be the main topic of this review because it’s just so different to the typical songfic: I like how you’ve taken the concept of the song and reflected it in the prose (in terms of both style, tone and central emotions), rather than just using lyrics to frame scenes of appropriately similar emotion/theme as most songfics do.

You emulate the style of newspaper pieces very well, with a nice balance of detachedness and more emotive sections: I found myself being reminded of articles I’ve read in The Guardian, although I doubt you get that in the States…? Well, The Guardian is a fairly liberal paper, and I think the reason I was reminded of it in particular is that the Prophet in your fic is taking a considerably more liberal line than it has been previously (eg, describing the people who fell as “brave”, not “undesirables”, etc…), presumably as a reaction to the censorship it experienced through the series, and perhaps to try and deemphasise its role in the War: I’m not sure if that’s exactly what you were going for, but that’s what I took from it. In any case, you’ve got the “journalist voice” pinned down. I also like that the paper is also using Riddle’s name now: I’m not sure if this is symptomatic of the paper’s new image (as I tried to describe above), or if it’s reflective of the new attitudes of the Wizarding World, but it’s clearly presenting a world that is trying to move on. Although, it’s made more interesting when you then juxtapose the articles with the letters, showing someone who clearly isn’t moving on.

By contrast, the rawness of Dennis’ letters is simply heart-breaking! “Somehow, I thought my biggest problems going into fourth year would be whether Ellie Branstone even knows I exist. Now, though, it’s more a matter of making it through the whole school year without losing my mind and then going home for the summer and trying to cope with being there. Sometimes, I kind of wish I had died instead. It’s just too much for my head to hold these days.” “ that section put a tiny little lump in my throat, it’s just so desperate… Then of course, there’s the resignation, the feeling that he’s not important, which is so symptomatic of depression, as you show in this line: “I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this, since you’re probably not going to read it anyway.” Reading this just makes you ache for the poor kid.

In short, I really like the originality of this: it shows what you can do with a theme that’s reasonably common in fanfic (ie, the aftermath of the Second War) just by tackling it a slightly unconventional way. There’s no setting or character description, because it just isn’t needed here: I don’t think I have anything really to offer in the way of criticism, though, because you convey everything you need to in a very stark and bleak way, and I think additional details would be superfluous at best, and would interfere the darkening mood at worst.

Author's Response:

I remember when the song Stan first came out; it was one of my first introductions to the idea of obsession. Though I knew what 'obsession' meant, it put a new spin on what that word meant to me, and I always knew I wanted to write about it.

Flash forward eleven years to me desperately brainstorming for something Soraya could appreciate. Somehow, this ebil baby came out of my head. I have this thing about killing off innocents. I kill more undeserving folks in my stories than ones the world wouldn't miss. But for this case, I wanted Dennis to be a good kid in a bad situation. In our streets every day, kids take to crime because they have nothing else. While Dennis isn't trying to one-up the world and prove himself to gangsters, he is a case of someone doing what he has to do to live. And, as is the case with so many youths whose families are shredded by violence, that violence never really left him alone and eventually killed him. I guess this is as close to social activism as I'll ever get, but I did do that a bit on purpose.

The Prophet in this story has had the chance to be its own entity without Ministry meddling. For so long, there has been an agenda on someone's part, but during this story, they are finally in the hands of someone who wants it to be a public service as much as an enterprise. This is why there are articles discussing signs of trauma and PTSD for those associated with the battle. In a way, the Muggle article is far more detached.

Dennis was begging for help, even if he wasn't doing it intentionally. One of the foibles of being a teen is feeling like the world is bent on breaking your soul. Add a demented father and a dead sibling and seemingly no one around to care about how he's dealing with it... :/ Sadly, I don't think this case is unique, though the end result was probably extraordinary.

Just so you know, I did a ridiculous amount of research and harassing of my British friends to make this story as genuine as possible. I hope that, as you haven't pointed anything out as being odd or not ringing true, I've done a decent job. I do know a bit about The Guardian, though not enough to form an opinion on the journalistic quality (will need to ask Deathlex now, hehe). Now I'm interested. I do my best to incorporate British things into my writing and into my knowledge base to make my stories the best they can be.

Lastly, I'm glad you appreciate the way it was written. Somehow, just 'telling' this story wouldn't have been as impactful. Dennis thought the world wasn't listening and neither was Harry, but it was listening - just not at the right time or in the right forum. He did matter, and people really took notice of his death (in my head, at least). So many of those affected spent so much time immersed in their own problems that they never really thought of anyone else's. It's logical, really, to feel like your problems are the end-all of everything, when, in reality and in the scope of things, they are minute and not unique. To me, this is when the recovering wizard population took a look around and noticed that their brothers and sisters, magical and Muggle alike, needed to help each other in order to help themselves. It's just a shame that Dennis had to die to do that, but it is what it is.

Thank you for the lovely review, as well as sitting through this rambolic response (haha, I made up a word). You have made your SPEW Monarch smile this morning. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: Gmariam
Date: 01/17/12 17:53
Chapter: Dear Harry

Hi Jess,
I remember you talking about this fic and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to read it. It really turned out heartbreakingly well. I thought the juxtapositioning of the Prophet articles and the letters was a great format. It was very original and built to the end perfectly. My only quibble would be that one article about the shooting that sort of gave things away before the letter; when you read the letter, you know how it's turned out, and even though I am a spoiler whore, I think I would have liked reading the article after the letter. Of course, that would put two articles in a row, so I see why you did that, and it works this way as well, because you read the article, then the letter, and go "Well, damn." So you can just ignore my former comment if you like, lol.

I thought the articles were well written in a newspapery kind of style, and the letters were well done also - so very British, you always amaze me with that. And of course, they are very emotional as well. Poor Dennis!

But the kick in the teeth is the end. The very last line is just so, so damning. Sort of makes me want to shake Harry and go "You stupid arse! You could have saved him!" But at the same time, I just don't know if it was Harry's job to save everyone, or if he even could have helped Dennis. Poor kid. Once again you explore the post-war effects on the wizarding world brilliantly.

Great details, strong emotion, and from what I gather (since I don't know the piece), a strong tie to the song. Lovely job, twin! ~Gina :)

Author's Response:

There was a lot of fiddliness involved with the arrangement of the articles. In the song, the first three letters were all from the fanboy (Stan, hence the song's title) writing to Eminem, but I really thought it was important for the story to show the climate of the country, mostly to punctuate the fact that the warning signs were there in Dennis's words for someone to see. If only the letters had been read sooner, something very well could've been done.

I'll have you know that I angsted over those articles and did a ridiculous amount of research just for flippant details that most people probably didn't and won't notice. Actually, the Muggle article was the most difficult, because it has the most basis in reality and can more easily be identified as either genuine-sounding or clearly fake. I'm happy that turned out all right.

And here is yet another nice boy I've cut down before the best years of his life. I do really feel bad for this one. I actually feel worse about this than for killing Teddy. Teddy chose to put himself in harm's way because he wanted to protect someone he loved; Dennis was killed in one of the most senseless ways. I suppose this was a story that needed to be told, mostly because the end of the war makes many of us unwittingly think that the violence stopped with Voldemort, only to realise that it always existed and always will.

Thanks for the review and read. I should really focus on writing a non-bummer fic here and there and maybe something, well, more jovial. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: WeasleyMom
Date: 12/30/11 1:51
Chapter: Dear Harry

Ooh, Jess, this is so good. I am not familiar with the song, but even on its own, I found this so ominous and sad. I knew he was going down, but wasn't sure he would end up dead. I hate to think of him taking his own life, but if he believed he'd killed someone, I can see it happening.

Nice job capturing the 14 yr old voice. I really did think at several points that it sounded just right, sort of depressed and optimistic at the same time (because Colin and Dennis were always so optimistic, or maybe naive?). Anyway, well done with that.

I admit I paused at the fact that Harry didn't figure out who this was, considering that fifty people is a lot of people but also not a lot, for someone as close to everything as Harry. And Colin would have been one of those who would have been right up in the front of his mind... and yet, I don't think you could have written Harry as knowing it was Dennis and still not responding. Harry would never have done such a thing. So anyway, just a little thing. :) Well done. This was such a powerful piece. I'm glad I stumbled upon it while it was still on the most recents. I hope it gets the reads and reviews it deserves.

Author's Response:

This story is a batch of complicated things and feelings all around. We all see who it is; it's so obvious when we think about it. However, the reason why Harry didn't see it until he was replying was because he really wasn't thinking overmuch about it. A lot of things are going on that go unseen but kind of have to be inferred.

For instance, Harry didn't read these letters over the course of time. Rather, he had a giant pile of mail from a bunch of people that he finally sifted through at last, and on Christmas Day — partly because it was the first day he truly had time to think about non-job things, and partly because someone (either Ginny or Hermione) made him sit down and read/reply before the pile overtook the whole room. So he's sorting through these letters in the order they came, reading one after the other, all from different senders, until finally he picks the one to reply to. Remembering the troubled "D", he goes for that one first. He reads, comments, and finally...you know the rest.

Here's how the shooting actually played out. The Prophet guy got it pretty much right; Dennis had instinctively reached for his wand when he saw the shopkeeper and the gun, and his Shield Charm was enough to deflect the bullet back on the shopkeeper. While Dennis was staring in horror at what he'd accidentally caused, the shopkeeper was able to get a second shot off, and that one didn't miss, as Dennis wasn't prepared for it. Rather a pathetic way to die, but such is the way of things. 

As I said, a jumble of things that just pile up on poor Dennis until it eventually kills him. He didn't have it coming; he didn't see it coming. Hence why the world tends to suck, because this is the story of many a troubled youth across the world, only with a bit of magic added in. :/

Anyway, glad you could appreciate it. I really recommend the song for a listen. It's beautiful and terrible all at once: beautiful because it was so well done, and terrible because it had that air of something that could easily happen. 

Thanks for the review, dear, and good luck deciphering my rambling brain wittering, hehe.

~Jess

Reviewer: nevilleherosnape
Date: 12/29/11 14:22
Chapter: Dear Harry

The song gave me goosebumps the first time i heard it and so does your story!!

Author's Response:

I'm glad you appreciate it, as it's not particularly something one can enjoy. But I'm glad you got some of the vibes from the song. It was hard to not give it a creepy, stalker feel, but it needed to be more of a troubled, injured soul reaching out to someone who they know has been there/done that. It's too bad Harry doesn't really do fanmail, though I imagine he would do after this. Poor Dennis. :/

At any rate, thanks for reading and reviewing, as always!

~Jess

Reviewer: SaboteurVictory
Date: 12/28/11 5:30
Chapter: Dear Harry

Hmm... as much as I liked this story, I have one major hesitation. I really think Harry would have replied to every letter. I really do. I think that if an unknown person was sending him letters that were so full of despair and depression, Harry would have done anything he could to write back, no matter how busy he was at work. It takes five minutes to write a letter, surely Harry hasn't been on his feet every second of every day for months!

Otherwise, well done.

Author's Response:

If that's what you choose to believe, then that's your prerogative. However, when one looks at Harry, one of the things he hated the most was people telling him how good a job he did and how much of a hero he was when so many people were hurt or had died and went largely unacknowledged. This would disgust him, I reckon. My theory is that he would start reading all of these letters out of a sense of duty, but after a while, he would become overwhelmed by the borderline hero worship of people treating him like their saviour when he really doesn't believe he's worthy of such treatment. Then he might just let a few slide and then a few more until he puts off reading them to the point when he has to make himself do it.

You might agree, you might not, but this is how I see it. And just as a note, he wouldn't know what was in the letters if he wasn't reading them, so he would never have known that someone was in such dire need of guidance. All in all, Harry was always a bit short-sided when it came to stuff like this, so there's nothing to say that he might not have let something like this happen unintentionally.

In the end, you are more than free to make your own interpretation on how Harry adjusts to life after the battle and how he deals with the things that happen; this is merely my own view based on what I know of Harry over the course of the seven books. Anyway, thank you for reading and letting me know what you think. :)

~Jess

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 12/27/11 21:25
Chapter: Dear Harry

AGHHHHHHHHHH! Shit or Sugar if MNFF bleeps that out. despite the fact that I know this song very well, I just shivered all the way through this. You have nailed Dennis here. I, too, think he'd be damaged by the loss of his brother. No idea why, it's just a feeling. *sigh*

You wove this story very well. I mean, i knew it would end badly, but wasn't sure how badly. He killed someone - noooooo. And now I feel sorry for his Dad :(

Really brilliant story, Jess. You captured the song but also the Post-Battle angst so well.

Amazing ~Carole~

Author's Response:

I do feel rotten for killing Dennis. This was different than killing off Teddy; Teddy was an adult who made the choice to put himself in the line of fire and paid dearly for it. Dennis was just a kid who was trying to survive, and the worst that could happen to him did. The true tragedy, at least to me, is that Dennis could've been helped, could've been saved, if someone had actually taken the time to notice not just his loss, but how he was (or rather wasn't) dealing with it. He even did what he needed to do and reach out for help, but he just chose the wrong person in Harry, as Harry tends not to be the observant or commiserative type.

This story is def more effective when one knows the vibes from Stan. It adds an extra, almost sinister, flavour to it, but instead of Dennis being an obsessed fanboy, he directed his grief in a borderline obsessive way. It makes me want to hug him. :/

At any rate, thanks for reading and reviewing. It's not a story one can say they enjoyed, as I didn't particularly enjoy writing it, but it gets its point across. Hearts, Croll of the Dungeon!

~Jess

Reviewer: xxbabewithbrainsxx
Date: 12/27/11 13:44
Chapter: Dear Harry

Jessssss! (Or should I say Jessaclaw, or Your Awesomeness... lol.)

I have already squeed about this on LJ and AIM but I thought I would make it official :) Just wow. Seriously, this is brilliant. Stan is a wonderful song, a great character study, and of all people to choose to be Stan, what an interesting choice with Dennis Creevey. Colin's death was one that was quite upsetting in DH, and I find Dennis's reaction to that is so rarely explored in fanfic. I loved the format of the story, how the entire thing was written purely using letters and articles, and then that killer "Oh" at the end. Wooooow. So much emotion packed into what is actually quite a short story, enough to move me to tears.

I also loved the fact that Harry was the person Dennis was writing to -- I definitely think that he would have got a lot of letters after the war, so it's only inevitable that he wouldn't be able to reply to them all. But what's even sadder is that Dennis never signed off with his actual name. If he did, I'm sure Harry could have helped him -- hmm, actually I don't know.

Anyway, this is in no way a SPEW review, but this was a lovely story, and written for me, as well!

Author's Response:

Honestly, I'm glad you didn't hate this. When I finished it, I was a bit worried, as I'd ignored your prompts for the most part and delved into a subject I wasn't even sure you cared about. Lucky me, hehe.

Killing Dennis wasn't something I relished or even planned in my brainiverse; actually, in my 'universe', he becomes a writer who takes on the challenge of interviewing all of the survivors of the battle and the victims' families to complete not so much a historical representation, but a 'you had to be there to understand, but this is the next best thing' chronicle of events. As you can see, he's rather articulate.

Harry was the natural choice for Dennish to write to. Who else would one look to when one has lost everything and needs assurance that everything will turn out okay? Harry's been kicked around by life so much and managed to get through the war not only alive, but standing tall. And that Colin had painted this almost super-human image of Harry to his little brother, it's almost like a kid writing to God or Santa Claus, looking for answers or inspiration or even something to believe in. 

I do believe that one letter from Harry could've changed everything. Just as one text or letter from Eminem could've kept Stan from going completely over the edge, but the price of casting one's lot in with celebrities is that you end up being one of many and have to wait your turn. :/

Anyway, thanks for the second review, and I'm so glad you didn't hate this. :D 

~Jess

Reviewer: iruthb
Date: 12/27/11 11:49
Chapter: Dear Harry

It was brilliant.
I love the detail, guessed who it was instantly though. The mixture between the letters and the Daily Prophet was very powerful.

But, why did you do that to me? It was awful! You killed him. And at the end, Harry's letter, and the "oh" was so saddening!
Why why why why why? Poor Mr. Colin. Why was Dennis shot? He didn't deserve it.
Yeah, so, not a happy reviewer.

But, it's a kudos to you for inspiring such powerful emotions in me.

Author's Response:

You'll find that I'm the meanieface who methodically kills off beloved characters and screws up the rest emotionally. It's my thing, lol. But really, though, a lot of what I see in Dennis is derived from what I see in Colin. He just brings this aura of needing to be accepted and to be noticed. And when all this happens is a giantly crucial point in a young man's psychological development, and losing his last anchor in life to know he's cared about when his dad was committed...it broke him. He tried to hide it, but it's impossible to hide something like that for long, especially without help.

Harry could have helped him, as well, but reading fan mail, at least to me, doesn't seem like something that would've even been on his radar.  There was just that one chance of survival, but it slipped away by mere days. And then his one attempt at robbery ended up getting him killed because the store owner (who in my head canon had experienced a rash of robberies, hence why he had a gun licence) wasn't about to take being robbed anymore. It just goes to show how circumstances can just pile up and create a cruel, warped reality when, in a different case, could've been shunted aside and dealt with successfully. 

However, it's been my experience that a lot of people who don't deserve it get the short end of the stick. Poor Dennis. :/

Anyway, thanks for the review. I don't feel good about killing off Dennis, but if the story was to turn out like the song I was writing it for, it kind of had to happen. 

~Jess

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