I am legitimately crying right now. There are sniffles and tears and crumplings of the face and I cannot remember the last time a story affected me this much. I literally cannot. Not since... probably Deathly Hallows? In 4,500 words you have managed to accomplish what five years and dozens of books have not, and I cannot type enough words to tell you how much I absolutely, fully, completely adored this story. They sound so empty, those words; they don't even come close.
How do I even begin a review like this?! This is the kind of story I have been waiting for, for a long, long time, and the fact that you wrote it for me is just... I loved how delicious creepy the beginning was. You could have written it in some way that would have dulled the senses, made everything a bit cozier and easier to bear, and I wouldn't have liked it half as much as what you wrote here. And that's one of the things I adore about your writing: You are never, ever afraid to challenge yourself or your readers. That's so rare, and I hope that you never lose that.
Voldemort was perfectly in canon. I absolutely writhed with jealousy, reading that scene where he stood over Dumbledore's coffin. I never even though about it, but of course he would want him to be an Inferi, wouldn't he? That is perfect. So perfect. I don't even have words anymore.
I had tears in my eyes before Cedric even found Rachel. This painted the Battle of Hogwarts for me in ways that the book failed to do, and I cannot tell you how much I adored it. That word isn't even close to strong enough. Because again, you challenge us -- what you write, it's not easy, it's not comfortable. One of the strongest images was the boy who was bound with ropes around his eyes and nose and mouth, who cracked his head against the stone wall. I love it, I completely love it, and I don't even care what that says about me -- that is brilliant.
AND THEN YOU DID THE IMPOSSIBLE AND YOU MADE THIS A LOVE STORY. HOW ARE YOU THIS BRILLIANT. I cannot even begin to tell you how much you got Leaping Obstacles. Whatever I tried to put into that story when I didn't know how to write, it's here and it's just done a million, trillion times better. You never wavered once in your support of that story. And now I... it's like, I know I rag on Leaping Obstacles all the time, but here I can kind of see it through your eyes. And your love and support for it, that's what's keeping it up and it's what made me finish it in the first place.
She was valuable to someone who was now dead, someone who would have died a thousand times rather than harm her in any way. -- I'm sorry, that shattering sound you just heard? Yeah, that was my heart. BUT SERIOUSLY. Oh my goodness, I am drowning in emotions and feelings right now. That is such a lovely, wonderful, heart-shattering thing to say.
If he could talk to her again, he would smolder into ash if he had to. -- I'M SOBBING. LEGITIMATE SOBBING IS OCCURRING. You write the best romance. The best battle scenes, the best Inferi, the best stories. There is a firm, solid reason why you are my absolute all-time favorite author on the archives and it is for things like this.
This is one of the best Christmas presents I have ever received. Period. End of story. I think I said that last year but for how brilliant your Ron/Hermione was and how many times I've re-read it -- Sarah. This. I cannot thank you enough for writing this for me. I cannot even begin to tell you how much this means to me, that you wrote me a story and it was so brilliant and I am all over the place, over the moon, over the universe.
I'm crying again. This was perfect. You gave me Cedchel. ♥ ♥ THANK YOU SO, SO, SO, SO, SO MUCH. I love you!!! ♥
Author's Response: AHHH.HHH.HHH.HHH. WHY DID I CHOOSE TODAY TO CATCH UP ON RESPONSES. This review scares the pants off me.
The Battle of Hogwarts is always the most outstanding scene of the entire Harry Potter series for me. Every time I think about it I want to go watch DH part 2. And the thing I always wonder the most about is...who were those fifty unnamed fallen? I want to know all of their names. I want to see what they look like. I want to know how old they were, what their life was like, who their families were. I want to see the Battle from every single angle of every single person to fight in it, and /why/ they were fighting, and exactly how they died. So it's a treat for me every time I get to examine what happened. While this one-shot centered around Cedric and Rachel and we saw little else that was happening around them, I loved experiencing that again through another pair of eyes.
I'm so happy that you enjoyed this. And you said you were going to enjoy it no matter what, so there was a little bit of pressure there, and I was writing /CEDCHEL/, which is so intimidating. No one can write Cedric like you can, and obviously no one can write Rachel like you can, but it was an honor to take a stab at it. Speaking of present one-shots, I need to remember to ask you when your birthday is. I always forget. And I know that I could easily look it up, but my memory suuucks. Okay so Sneth for that... I'm thinking maybe Rose/Ten for next Christmas, or maybe some sort of crossover. Ten/Beth. Lol. TEN COMES TO VISIT BETH AND SAVES HER FROM DALEKS POSING AS DEATH EATERS. Little machines zipping around with cloaks and masks on, exterminating people. I'm pretty sure Voldemort was one of those slimy clone things in that one building with that tub of goo that duplicated people. I digress.
THIS MADE YOU CRY AND YOU LIKED IT AND YOUR HAPPINESS MAKES ME HAPPY AND I AM SO THRILLED. ♥