This is pretty cool I have to say. I know the concept of the "deleted scene" but I've never really seen it done very well. That said, I haven't read very many of them either. Most of the ones I have read just seem like an excuse for the author to take two "off-stage" characters and have them make out in a broom cupboard.
But this is different. It answers a question. Perhaps we'll see more of these, as the Deathly Hallows release date recedes into the mist, and we fans now know which questions Rowling left unanswered (and even, indeed, which ones she raised in Deathly Hallows.) I did wonder what would make Tonks abandon her child and get herself killed. You've provided quite a reasonable and candid answer.
I've only been through Deathly Hallows once (I'm ALMOST finished with my second re-read) but I can already see that I'm going to have to read it a third time. The first time I read it I tried to muster as much passivity as I could. I wanted to simply take in the events and not try to second-guess the writer, or the characters. I enjoyed my experience immensely, and was able to pull it off for the most part (though Rowling's belittling of Ginny vexed me deeply). The "off-stage" deaths hit me as the unexpected death of an old friend might. It was always quite shocking to read yet another name. I began my second reading about a month ago but, upon finishing this story, I've discovered that I've been re-reading the book from the perspective that the deaths were almost inevitable simply because I knew they already happened.
But of course Remus and Tonks didn't die because they were meant to, but rather it just happened much like Dobby, or Hedwig. It was an accident. It wasn't meant to be at all, in fact just the opposite.
So, for helping me see that I am grateful.
You really infused Bellatrix with a powerful bit of evilness in this story. Her fight with Sirius seems like childish sibling rivalry gone wrong, in comparison. Sirius is her equal, as is Harry. Hermione is unknown to her. But Tonks is a different matter. However, equalized they might be in terms of the magical or physiological, Tonks is Bellatrix's niece, which places Bellatrix in an almost maternal position above her. Bellatrix comes face to face with her relative but, rather than feeling the slightest bit of guilty conscience or pangs of sympathy, she revels in the pleasure of being able to torture the product of a relationship she despises.
I don't really have much to say about the how you've written Remus and Tonks together, simply because I have little reference to go on. Rowling kept them both on the sidelines, so much so because she needed to preserve the stability and familiarty in ther series. Remus doesn't really ever DO anything directly important to the story after Prisoner of Azkaban. Tonks is just a "supporting" character that lends to the overall mood of the story. Note here that I don't mean to degrade the characters at all, I'm merely pointing out the fact that Rowling wrote very little about them, and subsequently we were never able to get a handle on how they behaved around one another. There's certainly nothing innately wrong with the way you've portrayed them together, but I wondered if you had examined the nature of the characters in relation to Rowling's literary mechanics a bit closer. Since we know next to nothing about how Remus and Tonks behave towards one another, you couldn't rely on Rowling's work to fill in the cracks, as it would when writing about Harry or Dumbledore. Their patter, terms of endearment, forms and levels of intimacy, and nuance of gesture, is ALL invented within the context of this story.
The only real criticism I have about this goes back to a conversation I was having with a friend about Saving Private Ryan.
How does Teddy know any of this?
But other than that, this is a really brilliant piece of work. Thanks for the great read.
Since we're in the topic of reviewing, I did wonder if you might do me a great honor and favor of reviewing one of my works. I'd rather not impose upon you the over-the-top death-fugue-in-your-face emo-ness of my songfic, nor would I ask that you peruse my parody of your own work, but I'd be most obliged if you would take a look at the piece titled, Harry Potter and the Priest of York. I consider it some of my best work, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
Author's Response: Thank you for choosing to read my new one-shot, Brad. I’m glad you found it worth the time invested. :)
I’ll be quite honest. After reading Deathly Hallows, I couldn’t shake the need for closure on the Tonks and Remus story. Originally, I think it was because I’m a wife and mother myself. I kept running the idea of her leaving her new baby behind and charging into battle through my mind. How could she do it? What would drive her to abandon him, knowing she might never come back?
I’d shared my idea with a friend, but had decided to table it until after Hope. My plan was to wait to write it until later, storing my thoughts in a file for safe keeping.
Then…real life struck and I was sharply reminded of how fragile life really is and how we must live for each moment and love intensely. You see, a man had died, a man who left behind his wife and two young sons, the same age as my own boys. It was tragic, heartbreaking and struck very close to home.
Suddenly, not only did I want to write it, but I felt I needed to…in a matter of 48 hours, my draft was finished. I did not research the nuances of JKR’s characterizations as you suggested in your review. I took the few clues she offered and inserted the remainder of the details, characterizations and their relationship from my imagination, probably transferring my own personality in some places. I wrote from my heart, rather than my head and poured that emotion into my writing.
As for Bella, I see her as a fully passionate witch, drawn to the darkness by her love of an evil wizard. Nothing else matters to her which allows her to cast aside the bonds of blood so callously and do anything to win his favor.
In response to your criticism about how Teddy could know these things, I will say this. During the story, at each point of Tonks decision making and actions, there were witnesses. In their home, her mother was nearby; in the RoR we had Ginny, Augusta, and the others. In the corridors and entrance hall, the wizards were numerous. The only real moments that would have been hidden from everyone were after they entered the closet.
While Teddy was thinking over the stories of his parents in the final scene of the story, he fills in the remaining answers for you. He thinks of how so many people over the years have shared the lives of his parents with him. They told him story after story until he felt like he’d truly known them. Teddy, himself, filled in missing details with his imagination, turning simple stories into legends over the years.
Those missing moments in the closet, he invented in his mind as a grown man, perhaps inserting into the empty spaces what he would do or say, if he only had moments left to spend with his own wife.
Thank you again for your readership and reviews. I appreciate them both. ~Donna~