Hi, Emma. I enjoyed coming across this sweet little story of yours, which, although short, packs a lot into its limited word-count.
I like the structure of the story, alternating the present time (after Luna has been taken by the Death Eaters) and past time (the events of her mother’s death). It had not occurred to me before that these two losses are parallels for her father Xenophilus. Your writing style is spare, with no extra verbiage, but every sentence does its duty. The old story, printed in italic type, is all narrative, and thus it contrasts with the present-day story, in Roman type, which is mostly his thoughts, but presented very matter-of-factly. The simple presentation makes this gentle story shine.
Your detailed, lively, imaginative description of the fatal accident that took Mrs. Lovegood’s life is vivid, and even though it’s tragic, it’s charming too, up to the moment of the tragedy, and appears to reflect her light-hearted spirit, which Luna seems to have inherited, in lines like “Luna’s bare feet scampered outside…
It makes sense now how Xenophilus is affected so strongly by the loss of his daughter because he has already experienced the loss of his wife. I had not realized until I read your story, how tightly these two events are related for him, to the point of his being willing to betray Harry, Ron, and Hermione in order to get Luna back again. But it struck me a little odd that he had burned all the memorabilia and photos of his late wife; I am mystified as to why he thought that this was the best way of dealing with grief. I liked your explanation of how he came to realize that all this destruction was a bad idea after all. In general, your characterization of Xenophilus is good; he seems a bit more human, not just the eccentric wedding guest and the nervous would-be betrayer of our Horcrux-hunting friends.
The use of tenses in writing this story, present, past, and past perfect, is sometimes inconsistent, and this distracts the reader’s attention just a little bit, not much; a beta reader who is a good grammarian could help polish this up.
I liked this little missing-moment story very much. Xenophilus had a small but important role to play in the larger story, so it is good to be able to understand him a little better. Nice job.
Author's Response: Yep.