First off, I love that you chose Severus and Hermione, there are not nearly enough of this ship on this site. You did such a wonderful job of describing the battle field. I honestly felt like I was there besides Hermione, running through the mud and carnage. The descriptions just honestly blew me away, they flowed so well, and really added to the story. Sometimes too many details can really distract me, but you pulled them off brilliantly!
I think you did a wonderful job of painting the scene for the final battle, talking about the killing curse and how much it's being used. Not to mention the hundreds of other small detail that really bring this scene together. The whole scene where she trips over Malfoy and looks into his cold lifeless eyes...OMG! It was just so unexpected, and I loved her reaction. I know that they all hate Malfoy, but when it comes to death, you can't ever really wish that on anyone.
I really liked that she could still see Harry, Ron, Remus, and Tonks as she headed to join the battle once again. For a while I was relieved to see all my favorite characters still fighting, alas they didn't all make it through *tear* I think you did a wonderful job of writing the action scenes, I have a lot of respect for people who can do that, as my attempts are complete rubbish (they get deleted before even seeing the light of day). I love that he comes out of nowhere and rescues her, like a knight in shining armor; LOVED it! I think you did a wonderful job of writing her, weak and tired, and completely trusting. Once again your beautiful descriptions leap off the page.
I like how it went from the battle to three years later, it's always so great to see how the characters have changed after a major event. Poor Harry *sheds a tear*, he really did have such a horrible life, and even in the end it was all for other people. I think you did an amazing job of showing how everything changed Hermione, her life is so different than the life she used to lead. Hearing about Ron was so bittersweet, I was relieved to hear he was still alive, but saddened to see that too much had happened. I think it was a nice touch to have Hermione distracted even when she had her books with her, it shows how much everything affected her in the end.
I loved how you described her feeling as she went into the Leaky Cauldron, it's amazing how places can bring those memories back in a rush. I also liked the memory you chose, because her and Ron were arguing; but I'd bet she would wish to have that arguing back.
Finally, the appearance of her hero, the man who took her away from the horrors of the battlefield. The man who stole her heart, and haunted her dreams; I love that she recognizes him by his voice. It's the one thing she could connect with him, and I think it was a really beautiful touch! The whole ending of this story was incredible, the way she finds out, her reaction, the feeling that she knew all along and couldn't admit it to herself. I honestly think the ending to this story is the true genius, you changed this story from this raw emotional story, to something that could really give us hope.
Overall I thought this story was stunning, I loved the pairing, and your writing was spectacular! It's the small attention to details that really makes this story stand out, I love the details. I also think you really brought the characters to life, they were real and they had real emotions. Once again a fabulous story, I can't wait to see what other stories you have!
Author's Response: *is stunned* My stunned-ness is the reason why it's taken me so long to respond to your review. I really don't know what to say even now. You've hit on so many of the things that were really important to me in this piece, like the details of the battle scene and the memories within the Leaky Cauldron.
You're actually one of the first people who's like the ending of this story. Many, including myself, feel as though it's rushed and too light when compared with the beginning scene. I'm still going to rewrite it, but maybe as a separate chapter rather than a simple editing job. Reading your review (which I've done a number of times already) has certainly upped my confidence in my writing and I thank you very much for taking the time to leave such an in depth analysis of the story. =)