Reviewer: rosemerta
Date: 04/17/13 5:17
Chapter: The Difference Between Knowing and Understanding

A very touching moving story. It's intelligent and thought provoking. I'm glad to see you writing Albus like his namesakes, just as curious and studious. I'm also glad you did not write James like his Granddad Potter who was more likely to be a bully than to protect another child from one. In that way he is like one of his namesakes, his father. Sometimes we don't always understand our parents, but it is nice if and when we finally do.

Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. ~ Megan

Reviewer: iLuna17
Date: 04/13/13 20:11
Chapter: The Difference Between Knowing and Understanding

Hi :)

I thought this was a really interesting piece, especially having read its companion fic. You paint such a different picture of what it was like growing up as Albus, James, or Lily, and I can honestly say this piece has me rethinking certain aspects of the family, both about Albus and how they grew up.

The Albus you wrote was very different from most of the versions of him I read, but it definitely fit the story. He, unlike James, was so observant that it was impossible for him to ignore what their father was trying to hide, and all it took was a little help for him to piece everything together. I love how you reiterate ‘Albus liked to know things’, because it made the entire piece so much more believable, and the ending so much more powerful. He’s logic to James’s anger, and it really shows two completely different reactions to the same event. The fact that he never confronts any of his family about the big secret completely removes any doubt that what you said about Albus is true; by just listening for the bits he got and not pressing the issue, Albus ensured that the next time a hint was mentioned he could listen for it. I thought that aspect was brilliant.

I really enjoyed how, because this piece was so centered around family, I could see the similarities between James and Albus, but also their father at that age. While it was subtle for the most part “ James’s similar reaction to Harry when Harry was kept in the dark, Albus’s acceptance and open-mindedness “ because of the fact that when Harry was their age he was fighting a war, it really added to the piece. The strongest example of this was James standing up for the first year, and how it basically manages to dissipate all of James’s anger in one go. It truly makes James see why Harry’s part was necessary, and that’s where I think we see the best reflection on the war.

Probably my favourite part of the piece was the ending, and how it so neatly drew everything you built up together. Rereading the piece, I realized just how you used the style and progression to show the change the story focusing on: the difference between knowing and understanding. I saw the slow progression from Albus wanting to know, to knowing, but then to truly understanding what had happened, and I thought that it was brilliant the way you worked that out, especially with the last paragraph. Learning what truly happened must have been a pivotal moment in Albus’s life, and we see just how much he was forced to mature as he went from knowing to understanding. It’s especially strong in the last bit, simply because you tell us how he understands, but then proves it. It justifies the entire theme of the piece.

The entire basis of this piece was fascinating: you took a small morsel from the epilogue and expanded it into two complete pieces, and it really makes a great deal of sense. While I don’t know if Harry would force them to hear the story of the war from somewhere else first, I do know that he would hide them from it until they were older. He wanted them to have a normal childhood, and hiding the information allowed them to. Like I said earlier, though, I don’t know if Harry would make them wait that long to know, because they might react like James did and he wouldn’t want them to hear the wrong facts. I liked how you used the fact that Harry would want to forget in defense of his actions (I would want to forget, too) but Harry is a lot like your Albus in the fact that he simply can’t forget, and he would want them to know about the rest of the people… the Lupins, the Weasleys, the DA, and the Order. I don’t know how you could further solidify your argument about this view apart from having this conversation happen when the two are younger, but parts still seemed a little unreasonable.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed the fic. There were just so many layers to it, and the more I thought about it the more complex the piece became. And the piece is mostly a simple conversation. That’s what I loved when I read this, the fact that there were so many levels, and the piece just becomes more and more brilliant the deeper you think. Brilliant job, and if you ever write more of this Albus, I would love to read it. :)

Ellie

Author's Response: First, wow, thank you for that stunning review! I'm glad those layers come through because, while it might not have been obvious as I wrote the piece, I always felt they were there, driving things along. I appreciate your comments about expanding that singular epilogue moment because while it's the only glimpse of the post-war world JKR gives us in the books, I think it's incredibly insightful; JKR shows a lot of who Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny become as well as who their children are, and the Potter family dynamic intrigues me. Thank you again for the delightfully insightful review. ~ Megan

Reviewer: Gmariam
Date: 08/14/12 14:39
Chapter: The Difference Between Knowing and Understanding

Well done! First of all, I love the title. It fits your wonderful Albus perfectly. Which is my second of all, I love what you've done with his character. I even put him in Ravenclaw for all his curiousity. ;) And third of all, I thought the final paragraph was brilliant, really brilliant.
That said, I totally agree with James: Harry should have told them. I can see why he didn't talk about his past and waited until his children were older, but once they hit school and History class and especially OWLs and NEWTs, he should have been the one to tell them what it was really like, painful as it was. And while I can see him holding back, I think what he said about not knowing anything about his own parents, and having to find it out in bits and pieces, would have motivated him to share more with his own kids. But that's just my personal opinion on a rather subjective character point, and I know you have your reasons because this was well thought out. I thought you wrote this very well and I enjoyed reading it! Good luck with it! ~Gina :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the story, and your lovely reviews are always a pleasure to find. :-) As far as how the Next-Gen kids learn about their parents' role in the war, I'm with you. I think Harry should have told his kids, but I extrapolated things from what we saw in the epilogue where his and Ron's kids were surprised that people were staring at him. I thought, if that were me, and my 11 and 12 year old didn't know, then they didn't need to yet. I also see James as not paying as much attention to the world around him as his brother and sister do, so James only getting pieces until the NEWT class versus Albus who finds out on his own fit.

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