Okay. I'm here to leave a coherent review. HONEST. I'm not sure how long it will remain coherent, but I'll give it a go.
I thought this was a bad move, going to David's pub when he'd be there. And yet, despite me being the biggest T/T flag-waver there is (I've clearly scientifically proven this) I still found myself WANTING David to remember her. It seemed like a long shot though; them Obliviators would have done the job good and properly. So you were cruel, to give me false hope. To give TANITH false hope. But it's okay because Toby more than made up for it!
Tanith seems to think that her guilt is interlinked with remembering the fallen; that if she stops feeling guilty for her sins, she forgets the likes of Nick whose deaths she feels responsible for. She can't keep thinking like that because it's just not healthy. She needs to let herself move on from it all! Bless her.
And then we now of course have the slight issue of the attempted murder. And I have literally in the last few seconds come up with a possible candidate! My eyes just fell on this line:
"But even as she grabbed it a looming figure, indistinct in the dark, closed the gap between them and delivered a heavy, vicious punch to the side of her face. There was something strangely familiar about it all..."
WHOA I missed this first time round. Something familiar? About what, Tanith being attacked down an alleyway while drunk? Or Tanith being PUNCHED IN THE FACE? Because that's happened before ... at Gullsmere ... Tom Everard punched her in the face ... whoa what's everyone been saying about him? Is he the one who's gone a bit nutty since it's all been over? IS HE? I'm going to have to read this WHOLE fic again to look for references and I'd better not be barking up the wrong tree here BUT IT ALL FITS! The curse, the Lions knew about the curse ... HMM.
I have a strong hunch that, whether I'm right or wrong, you're going to be laughing at me as you read this.
Oh, the little "Harry and Ron have ... let him get away" dialogue made me chuckle. I love Harry and Ron and Katie. LOVE EM.
I like that Katie - and Harry and Ron too I guess, but mainly Katie - understood why Tanith had to kill Nick. Or at least, they seemed to understand. Jen's reaction was totally understandable of course, but it's nice that these three aren't judging Tanith for killing a man given the circumstances. And Harry taking control here is FABULOUS, partly because I find it so funny how Tanith tries to not approve of it but still can't help but like him.
Toby. Oh, Toby. I knew he'd gotten the injunction, and I knew he'd done it for her! I take back EVERYTHING I've said about him. Because yes, he was wrong, and yes, so was Tanith, but the fact here is that he's not only realised where he was at fault but has acted on it, and more importantly he's not getting angry at Tanith for her misdeeds. Basically, HE'S decided that he's not going to let this chance slip away from him. And that's where he's got one up on Tanith. (Alternatively Dimitri sorted his head out for him because he's the bomb.)
And again the guilt from Tanith. She seriously doesn't know how to deal with this! Poor thing. She just kept it all locked away for too long. But IT'S ALL OKAY NOW because Toby understands!
I LOVED this moment. "There's one thing I can't do." I thought OH NO WHAT NOW TOBIAS? Pretty much Tanith's thought process. "I can't get down on one knee." JAW MEETS GRAVITY. Beautiful. Wonderful. SO HAPPY.
"Of course the answer's yes, I think the answer might have been yes since I was sixteen..." CRYING WITH JOY.
Basically from "There's one thing I can't do..." through to the end of the chapter... Best thing EVER. Beats "I know you're Tanith just by the way you say my name." Beats "Fiendfyre couldn't drive me away." It even beats "Scorpius liked cake". THAT IS HOW BIG THIS MOMENT IS.
Of course, I am well aware that it wouldn't be unlike you to put them through the ringer some more, and I am also aware that Tanith still has ... problems ... that need seeing to, so I don't think it's going to be all bunnies and rainbows from them from now on. But I HOPE that this is their Big moment, that from now on they'll be able to DEAL with it all ... because I don't think I could cope if things blew up again. I LOVE THEM TOO MUCH.
I kind of feel like my attempt at a coherent review has failed. There's still a bucketload of excited caps lock going on. So I'll wrap things up here before I get too carried away (imagine that!) or I run out of characters, which is becoming rather possible right now. SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS CHAPTER. Good work bro.
Author's Response: I know. It's a big chapter. Might be all downhill from here! But it's not, I promise. Yeah, I have a soft-spot for David too (of course, I wrote him); he had to be a fully formed character in his own right to help Tanith grow, so... it's more than a little sad he'll never remember her, or what he saw, or what they went through. Only she remembers. It's not even just FORGETTING the fallen will happen if she feels guilty - even if she doesn't think she belongs in PRISON for what she did, she doesn't think that you get to kill someone and then walk off and have a happy life. Because that's not "fair". And she's kind of right, but... life's more complicated than that.
Interesting theory about Tom Everard! It's true, he punched her in the face in Gullsmere, though I suspect he's not the only person to ever punch Tanith in the face. There has been some exposition so far on what's happened to Tom since the end of the war. He's had a hard time in his own right.
And yes, I'm giggling to myself, you're right.
Harry, Katie, and Ron are a comedy trio in their own right. I can't see Harry and Ron getting judgmental about hard choices in war, and Katie is... I think it helps that her first go-to issue was that JEN now knew, so her initial emotional reaction was of concern for her best friend. And then once that had cooled down, she could think clearly. Tanith is still NOT happy about being removed from the field, but Harry has this unfortunate habit of being RIGHT.
Toby to the rescue! Toby with an injunction! Toby making everything okay. And, indeed, realising that one of them needs to suck it up and put on their big boy boots to make everything okay, and Dimitri has reminded him that it has to be HIM. And also seeing the trial made him realise Tanith was WAY more messed up than he thought she was, which explained a whole lot. She might have done okay. But then everyone who knew, died, and telling more people required THINKING about it.
I haven't had The Moment as one of those things I've been working towards for years or anything, but the moment I started BTP I had that "There's one thing I can't do" line in my head. In original drafts it wasn't going to happen until the end of the fic, but I realised that would be terrible for pacing (I'm sure I'll ramble some more at you some time on the things BTP Almost Was) so instead we can actually get some story time spent on them as a couple... until I throw the next curveball. You know me. ;) I make life hard. But I try to not be too repetitive.
Laughing so hard at you citing "Scorpius liked cake". I had to actually go back and check just when he invoked cake! Clearly one of my finest and most heartwarming moments!
These kinds of rambly reviews at the best! Keep it up! And thanks, a whole bunch.