|Review:||Toujours Padfoot says:|
As soon as I clicked on this story I could feel my heart drop. Nothing kicks me in the feels harder than a Fred's-death story, and this succeeded in making me feel very sober. It wasn't a bawl-your-eyes-out type of story, but one that really forces you to think.
I like how each of them had different attitudes, different ways of coping. It didn't sound like the same person talking to a tombstone over and over; they were all very personalized, not just in their superb characterization but the way they approached Fred and death altogether. I like the way we saw some of them through each other's eyes - like how Ron told Fred he thought that George talked to Angelina about Fred, which was good for him because George didn't like to talk about Fred to anyone. He needs someone to vent to, and Angelina is so therapeutic in that way.
I liked Molly being unable to resist commenting on her surprise at how good a mother Fleur was, and Ron's tear slipping down his cheek when he said he wanted to stay in the shop for just a little while longer because George had never had to be alone before. That was so hard-hitting. I was really inspired by that, and found myself wanting to write something about George coping, too.
The dark shadows under Percy's eyes as he quietly relayed that it should have been him; his guilt, his grief - it was like a punch to the stomach. I wanted to hug him and tell him it wasn't his fault, because if there's one thing Percy's always been deficient in, it's people on his side. I'm glad he has Audrey, even though their relationship at that point was probably strictly professional.
My favorite part, I think, was the bit with Ginny and how she blamed Harry sometimes. Never for very long - blink and you'll miss it - but long enough to feel bad about it, to have that dormant resentment. And to have Harry feel the same way and whinge about it, (loved that you included his self-loathing tendencies, his inability to ever feel completely happy when he thinks something or another is his fault), and then him and Ginny taking it out on each other, was a moment of really powerful realism. Everyone copes differently. Bill is sort of meditative, with his tea and his walk to the hill. Charlie is sort of explosive, cursing about the state of things and their unfairness. George is very quiet, dealing with it the best way he knows how. Ron is perhaps the most well-adjusted, since he has the wise, supportive Hermione holding him up. Percy copes with therapy. And Ginny gets it out of her system by yelling every once in a while. And it's good for her. That's her own therapy. Afterwards, she and Harry can clear their heads and hug each other and they're a few tears closer to being healed. Sometimes you just have to cry it out; let the wound drain before it gets infected.
This was such a poignant story, Jami. I read Sarah's review to see what she thought of it, and she seemed really pleased and impressed. She's famous for writing the Weasleys, so I can think of no gift more perfect. Thank you for participating in my challenge. :)
Author's Response: Hi ♥! I loved every bit of your challenge, it's so awesome getting to write something for someone you care about. It's funny how people on HPFF become really close, I tell Sarah more stuff than I do half my friends, so I just wanted to give her something that she'd really love.
I'm so happy you thought my characterizations of the Weasleys did the justice. I can tell you that I'll probably never write all of them again.. Charlie and Bill probably, but the rest of the family... most likely not. They're such a struggle for me, so knowing that their characterizations felt right means so much to me!
I think George is absolutely the most heart breaking part about Fred dying. He never should have been forced to figure out what life without his brother is like... he never should have had to say goodbye to the person that meant the most in the world to him... and ugh. It's terrible. Every time I started to write hm talking, it never worked. Then I just realized he wouldn't even need to talk. I mean, having him tell Fred about what was happening in his life just felt too cruel, so I was actually happy with doing him just laying by his brother instead.
I know not everyone is thrilled about my choice for Ginny.. but it just felt realistic. Harry did so much for that family, but that would be harder to see when your staring at the dead face of your brother. And like you said, if you blink you could miss it, but those feelings of 'why us' were there even if just for a moment.
Thank you again for this amazing review as well as holding such a perfect challenge ♥