Oh my goodness, Sarah. I really think you've outdone yourself with this chapter. I don't know why, but this was one of my favorites to date... it was so moving to see the glimpses of each of these one time duel contestants; the feeling of their humanity was so, so tangible that I nearly drowned in feels reading this. I think my favorite thing about this story is how normal the afterlife is, while being sort of fanciful. Like, people don't waft around angsting over being dead... there's a distinct vitality in the village. People live very much as they did in life, and that to me is what sets this story apart from all other stories that are out there about the afterlife. And, even though there is this strong vital pulse running beneath the culture and demographic of the village of the dead, there is an ever present glass wall that separates the residents from live-life that they smack into ocassionally, or rather the reader smacks into it and suddenly remembers that all of these characters are actually dead and not alive and will never grow old or fat; never explore the world.
^This is what I took away from this chapter as a whole. It was so incredibly lovely. As always, I adored your Tonks/Remus. They are just so natural -- none of the pretense and angsty nonsense that I often find when reading about them. I adore their little family with Pepper (and love that he's an extinct breed!! very clever). The way tonks knew that remus would be down the stairs shortly, not being able to sleep alone; the way he was a little gruff before his morning tea. Gah. They, in my opinion, represent the ever present life that exists in the village of the dead. The fact that life goes on and is good.
And then in contrast, we read about Crabbe and Cedric, and while they're handled very differently here, I feel that they both represent that glass wall I mentioned, as reminders that they are all truly dead and not alive. It was glorious to see a bit of humanity in Crabbe... the fact that he was crying and just wanted to go home... was such a lovely redemption for his character. It was a bold statement that even though he's not really a 'good' person, he's still a person with ripe humanity running through his veins. And then there's Cedric. Omg. I am so, so feely after that scene. I love how determined he is to live his life and stay busy and do the things he didn't get to do... what a plucky little puff. But seeing him in this quiet moment, pondering over lost oppurtunities and love and what not was so poignant. One of these days I swear I'm going to write a Cho/cedric story. I really feel like they are such an interesting pair that often gets a bad wrap or over looked in canon b/c of cedric's death and cho's greiving process. gah. anyway, I digress. I just, everything about that scene was gorgeous. I especially loved the bit about Cedric telling stories that had been passed down the diggory line b/c he would never continue that line and be able to pass the stories down. I just, Cedric would have been a great dad and yet again your story has managed to make me passionately made at Voldemort for destroying so many lives. I almost thought for a minute that you were going to have Cho die and turn up there and was like... canon-cobb-squint... but then when Cedric's parents came walking down the street it was so sad/poignant and I just want to know what happened. There is something inherently sad that their son is the one welcoming them into the afterlife, but beautiful at the same time since they can all be together at last.
And as I'm running out of characters, I want to quickly say that I enjoyed the Rowena (love that she's ever intrigued by fixer-upper men... what a fixing fairy she fancies herself to be) and Severus got to chat. It was a lovely indicator of the progress that he is making after his conversation with Lily and James several chapters ago. I am so happy for him; he has finally turned down the road of redemption and is (I think) letting go of the very heavy chip he's been carrying around on his shoulder.
Sarah. this story is amaz-sauce. I just, I cannot even do it justice and hope you know how talented you are and how much I admire your abilities as a writer and how much I value your friendship. As always, this chapter was fabulo-moose and I can't wait until the next one.
lots and lots and lots of loveee,
Author's Response: MEL, NGL I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO RESPOND TO THIS. ♥ ♥ ♥ I'm probably going to go on many tangents now because that's all I know how to do.
I love what you said about people not wafting around angsting over being dead. That, I think, would get so repetitive, and who really wants to live like that? They're all existing in various stages of adjustment. Some of them, like Vesper Lovegood, have accepted it completely. Some of them, like Salazar, are such a fixture in the village that it's like they've always been there. The newer you are, the more messed up you're likely to be, but if you value your sanity then you're going to shape up and move on as quickly as you can bear.
Tonks and Remus here served to portray normalcy in a world where everyone is dead, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you picked up on that, that you appreciated it and knew what I was going for. There is so much emotional turmoil going on just a few streets away, with various other residents, but in the Lupin house, for now, there is peace. They knew each other so well, are so used to each other, that peace comes naturally to them just by being together, and from that peace comes strength. There is a good chance I am making no sense.
Having Cho die, omg. That would be so cruel of me. And since I don't go into detail about Cedric's parents, you're free to imagine what happened to them. Isn't it annoying when I leave things open to interpretation? CHALK IT UP TO LAZINESS~
Rowena the fixing fairy, lololol forever, picturing her with wings now, buzzing over people's heads.
Mel, you are amazing. Every time I read the end of this review (as of course I've reread it multiple times) I just melt into a puddle of feels. ♥ I'm so lucky to be able to call you my friend.