|Review:||Athene Goodstrength says:|
Athene here from Slytherin Review Tag, sorry it's so late!
First off, I love Ginny Weasley (canon Ginny, not film Ginny) so I was excited to read this chapter. We are all told repeatedly that Ginny has a soft centre, but we rarely get to see it, so I really enjoyed reading this. This review may not be particularly coherent, I made notes as I went along!
First off, I love this image: 'Ginny placed her hands delicately on the stone railing, tracing the place where she imagined he had fallen over it at the close of the previous year. The September breeze, which smelled like an impending rain, caught the edges of her red strands and blew them back over her small shoulders.' It's beautiful. She's so delicate- strands, small shoulders- and yet she's standing at the spot from where Dumbledore fell, a breeze blowing her. You instantly get a sense of her fragility and the danger she's living in.
However the next line, about closing her eyelids over her brown eyes, jumped out at me a little as odd- we already know what she looks like, and you just mentioned her red hair. Maybe it's the words 'eyelids' and 'eyes' in such close proximity that's bothering me… I would probably have written 'she closed her brown eyes' if I wanted to include the colour. But then again, that's just me! I didn't have the idea for this wonderful fic :P
I love the flow of emotions in this piece. I felt her sadness over Dumbledore, compassion for Harry watching him die… her anger at Snape, maybe even a little pity for Draco. Then, the anger at Harry for leaving her behind.
'She didn't understand how he couldn't see that he'd left her to the wolves while claiming to keep her safe. Hogwarts was no longer the haven they once knew.' -This line was brilliant. Harry can be so very short-sighted (heh!) sometimes.
I have to confess that this line made me giggle: 'The professors had no power except the small allotment that Snape occasionally extended to them.' I momentarily thought that Snape had allowed them to take care of a vegetable patch.
I love how much Dumbledore is on Ginny's mind. That's all I have to say about that, it's just perfect.
'imagining her father getting fingerprints on it as he embraced the bride.' This made me smile! How very Weasleyish of Arthur.
I wasn't sure about the idea of imagining her wedding dress, home and children- it's a nice image of her yearning for normality, but I wonder if she'd be more likely to be dreaming of the day that she and Harry can walk down to the lake together again, or race around the Quidditch pitch. I guess that's part of yearning for the old Hogwarts. But I can also see how imagining the future is the only thing keeping her going.
This is a side of Ginny that we don't get to see much- I get the feeling in DH that she spends a lot of time striding around angrily and purposefully, rallying troops etc. But this was a lovely snapshot of the emptiness and loneliness behind all of that. The chapter title 'Yearning to Live' is perfect, as I really felt Ginny's strong sense of yearning, and her feeling that life is on hold. Overall, I loved this! So well written and the psychology of the character is really thoughtful.
Onwards to Hermione!
Author's Response: Hi! Sorry this response has taken ages!
I really wanted to focus on Ginny's vulnerability here, and you nailed it on the head - like Lily (and seemingly most other red-heads in the series), I always see her portrayed as brazen and spiteful, and it always leaves me wondering what she's feeling, how she's really reacting to it all. As you pointed out, I tried to intersperse that theme not just in the plot, but throughout the imagery and word choice. (You make a good point about the eyelids/eyes comment. Perhaps I was a bit too fixated on the details.)
Hah. Now I'm imagining Flitwick and Sprout de-gnoming Hagrid's garden and complaining about the Carrows. That makes me chuckle.
Several people have commented on the wedding idea. I guess I used it because I figured a lot of girls dream of their wedding day, even if they aren't engaged to their current significant other, and so it just seemed like another way to emphasize that Ginny is still a girl, even one that can be a little idealistic at times. I can definitely see how yearning for the way Hogwarts used to be could have been a powerful choice.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and thank you so much for your very kind review :)