What can I say. this is a bit of a milestone for both of us, I assume. First, finishing a work like this is NEVER easy. You should feel exceptionally proud because it is a fine piece of writing. And so few tales out here, no matter how creative or well written, ever get finished.
For me, well, I started reading this last september; one of the very first novels I read when I found the site, as a matter of fact. Of everything I've read in that time (and I've read a lot), this was by far the most dark, the most adult and took the most "radical" approach to post-Hogwarts fics.
Your first chapters, outlining Harry's hitting bottom so hard after the Battle were simply stunning. You managed, with some difficulty I know, to hang on to that angst and emotion throughout.
You handled a very complicated reveal of the backstory, deftly and told an exceedingly intricate mystery along the way.
It had a brilliant ending as well. Totally in character for your version of Harry to turn down the head auror job. Almost an anti-hero, the recovering alcoholic cop, struggling to set his life right, this take on Harry was brilliant.
The resolution with Ron was great to see. He'd never be Harry's best mate again, that ship sailed years before, obviously, but there's no hard feelings, no wedge between them. And to see Hermione so desperate to make sure Cal likes her? Excellent flourish.
But the best of all has to be the "wrap around" with the first session with Anderson.
Cosmo, you get a standing ovation from me for the sheer grit and determination it must have taken to mould the raw material JKR left us with into an adult, mature novel that gives us a look at how the horrible aftermath of the Battle of Hogwarts would have realistically and darkly manifested in Harry's personality, with no punches pulled and still managed to salvage a happy ending. Well, as happy as Harry and Hermione could be after the depths Harry plumetted too after the Battle. Realistic and Brilliant are really the two best words to describe this tale.
Author's Response: you... you... i just don't know what to say right now. there's so much i want to say, but I'm simply so flummoxed... shocked... surprised.
you honestly put me to tears and the last time i cried was when i watched mystic river last year. honestly.
i just... i don't know what to say, thank you so much!
I'm sorry my reply isn't longer. but i hope to be back with more to say, I'm just. I'm so incapacitated now after that.
thank you, truly.